Bring your own food container to reduce single-use plastic waste, Penang Island City Council urges public

MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said daily solid waste collection had increased by about 16 tonnes this year compared to 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said daily solid waste collection had increased by about 16 tonnes this year compared to 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Sept 23 — The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) is calling on the public to bring their own containers (BYOC) for takeaway to reduce the amount of plastic food containers sent to landfills.

MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said daily solid waste collection had increased by about 16 tonnes this year compared to 2020.

“The average daily solid waste collection was 631.26 tonnes between January and August in 2020 and the average daily collection for the same period this year was 647.75 tonnes,” he said during a press conference today.

Out of the total waste collected, 15.4 per cent were plastics and 9.9 per cent were paper products.

“About 51.3 per cent of the plastic waste was plastic food packaging and plastic bags, and 18.05 per cent was delivery packaging,” he said.

As for the paper products, 40.8 per cent of it was food delivery packaging.

Yew said an increased reliance on e-commerce and food delivery services had indirectly increased the amount of plastic and cardboard cartons being sent to landfills on a daily basis.

“This is why the city council will continue to stress the importance of the 5Rs, which is to refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and finally, recycle,” he said.

He said public awareness is important to reduce the use of plastic containers and cardboard containers for takeaway food.

“We will continue to promote the BYOC initiative and waste separation at the source to reduce the amount of solid waste from going to our landfill,” he said.

For this purpose, Yew said the city council had allocated RM60,000 for the initiative so that the island can reach its target recycling rate of 35 per cent by 2022.

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