Plastics manufacturers should shift to biodegradable and eco-friendly products to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics, says the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry.
Minister Yeo Bee Yin said local manufacturers should take the opportunity to make biodegradable and eco-friendly products as global demand for these items would only increase in the future.
“Waste is not just a Malaysian problem, it is a global problem,” she said in her keynote speech at the Bioeconomy Day event in Kuala Lumpur today.
Yeo emphasised that the government was putting in a concerted effort to achieve this goal for environmental sustainability, and to avoid the reality of having more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
“One way of doing this is by applying biotechnology to produce bioplastics, derived from or synthesised by microbes, which are either biodegradable or derived from renewable resources or both.
“To address this problem, the Energy Ministry in collaboration with ministries and other agencies are preparing its roadmap towards zero single-use plastic which will be launched on Oct 17, 2018,” she said.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Bioeconomy Development Corp CEO Mohd Shuhaizam Mohd Zain said success in bioeconomy was not just about going beyond national and regional borders, as industry players also need to cross the boundaries that exist within industries and sectors.
He said this could be done via inter-industry applications, public-private sector collaborations, and academic-industry crossovers.
“An example of this will be our Bioeconomy Community Development Programme (BCDP), which connects bio-based companies with farming communities and allow them to participate in value creation through bio-based innovations while providing additional income to these communities.
“As of August 2018, 40 BCDP projects have been implemented, involving over 2,900 participants,” he added.