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PUTRAJAYA, Sept 27 ― Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to share technology and find ways to mitigate waste management including plastics and packaging waste, an issue both nations regard as important at the regional and international fora, said Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin.
For a start, she said both countries agreed to strengthen cooperation and exchange ideas on the innovative technology, that is much cheaper and cost-effective to end plastic waste efficiently in the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Committee on the Environment (MSJCE) meeting today.
The meeting, which was co-chaired by Yeo and her Singaporean counterpart Environment and Water Resources minister Masagos Zulkifli (he), who was on a two-day visit to Malaysia from yesterday (September 26-27) at the invitation of the former (Yeo) under the 31st Malaysia-Singapore Annual Exchange of Visits.
“I was talking to Singapore on the possibilities of working together on the technology exchange that will be able to solve the problem. We discussed how both countries can collaborate with each other and exchange ideas on how to eliminate plastic waste that is damaging our environment today.
“I am very much looking forward to learn from Zero Waste Singapore, whereby it challenges the old way of thinking about waste as something that has no value and to be thrown away. If we don't act now, the world is going to be full of waste since the global population will hit 10 billion people by 2050,” she said in the joint press conference after the meeting.
Last Tuesday, Yeo said Malaysia is aiming to do away with single-use plastic by 2030 as the country tries to shed its reputation as one of the largest producers of plastic waste in the world. Malaysia is the eighth largest producer of plastic waste in the world.
Plastic waste is the second biggest type of waste in the country after food.
In addition, Yeo explained that the government would need to create more awareness to influence people to eliminate the usage of plastic from their daily life, and believes that this exemplary habit should begin from leaders.
On combating regional transboundary haze, Yeo said both countries compliment their Indonesian counterpart who has drawn fast and effective solutions to tackle transboundary haze by placing officers to put off fire immediately.
“Indonesia has done well although there is a mild haze in the country now. But I am looking forward to discuss this issue in the upcoming Asean ministerial meeting in Myanmar next month. Most importantly, we want to find ways to cope on illegal open burning at oil palm plantations.
“We hope to solve this burning issue and haze in order to build again the palm oil brand as a sustainable and efficient oil, and capable of being sold at the global market,” she said.
Meanwhile, Masagos said Singapore is currently moving towards sustainable trend to implement Zero Waste Singapore since four years ago, whereby we extract as much resources from the waste such as plastics, paper or metals.
“This is the challenge today that waste should be thought of as potential resources.
“Through this way, it helps to conserve our resources, reduce pollution, create jobs in waste management, reduce waste costs, increase the lifespan of our incineration plants, and mitigate climate change,” he added.
At the meeting, both countries also agreed to enhance collaboration through further cooperation in new areas such as climate change, circular economy, industrial pollution and radiation safety.
They also reaffirmed their commitment to continue to share experiences in tackling vehicular pollution, an issue of mutual concern. Both countries would continue to work closely with Singapore to achieve the common goals in environment protection and management along the Straits of Singapore. ― Bernama