MBKS keeps over 3 mln straws out of environment

Dr Sim (right), Wee (left) and Kuching South Deputy Mayor Hilmy Othman at the launch gimmick of ‘Make Climate Cool Again Environment Exhibit’. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (April 30): More than three million plastic straws have been kept out of the environment following the Kuching South City Council’s (MBKS) ban on this non-degradable product since July last year, said Datuk Wee Hong Seng.

The Kuching South Mayor said despite the council’s efforts in protecting the Mother Nature, he still received complaints with regard to the ban of plastic straws.

“A supplier has called me to say that our ban on plastic straws has killed his business. I told him that I’d rather kill our business than let you kill our Mother Earth.

“Your businesses should be very much on creativity and sustainability in line with the preservation of environment,” he said before Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian launched the ‘Make Climate Cool Again Environment Exhibit’ held in conjunction with this year’s Earth Day at the MBKS Dewan Masyarakat at Jalan Padungan here today.

According to Wee, MBKS’ ‘Say No to Plastic Straws’ is just one of the council’s initiatives to promote awareness of environmental preservation among the local community.

“We are also saying ‘No’ to Styrofoam containers. We regularly hold recycling and e-waste collection campaigns with partners like DoE (Department of Environment) Sarawak, NREB (Natural Resource and Environment Board) Sarawak and Trienekens,” he said.

The mayor asserted that habits on environmental sustainability needed to be inculcated among both consumers and manufacturers.

He believed that good habits will enable every individual to continue developing innovative ideas and practices that would make the country an even more sustainable place.

At the function, Dr Sim, who is Public Health, Housing and Local Government Minister, also launched a new mobile application iBuyBack.

According to Wee, this new application is MBKS’ initiative to digitalise its buy back campaigns as Kuching emerges a Smart City.

“This application streamlines the collection and segregation of recyclable items, thus preventing them from being disposed of to landfills.

“It also provides information on recycling drop-off locations, making it easier for the public to participate in sustainable waste disposal using cutting-edge technology,” he said.

He added that this application would later be extended to include e-waste and organic solid waste.

Wee pointed out that MBKS’ Buy Back Recycling Campaign encourages residents within its jurisdictions to recycle waste in exchange of reward points.

He said these reward points are redeemable for household items.

“This imitative has been a smashing success and popular among Kuchingites,” he added.

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