Not just a piece of plastic: NGO Sabah aims to create a plastic waste economy to tackle pollution

KOTA KINABALU: A plan to put a monetary value on plastic waste should be the foundation of a non-governmental organization’s efforts to make Sabah plastic neutral.

Blu Hope founder Simon Christopher said they are working with various stakeholders to create a plastic economy for local communities by introducing different recycling technologies.

“In order to achieve Sabah Plastic Neutral within the next five years (by the end of 2026), we need to maximize the value of plastic waste and deliver ‘real tangible value’ in plastic waste recycling,” said Christopher of the NGO which is expected to roll out its plans by April this year.

He said that currently, discarded plastics have no monetary value, but Blu Hope is working with various local and international groups to bring appropriate technologies to recycle such waste into fuel and furniture, among other things.

“We want to create a new circular plastic economy for local communities and help protect Sabah’s unique biodiversity at the same time,” said Christopher, explaining that raising awareness and educating students was also key in their efforts. to advance plastic neutral planes.

He said Blu Hope had signed a Kota-Kinabalu-Plastic Neutral Memorandum of Understanding with Kota Kinabalu City Hall for the collection and recycling of plastic waste, including the tons of trash washed up daily on the shores of the capital city of the state.

He said Blu Hope will soon carry out a series of regular “quantitative and qualitative” beach cleaning operations to obtain a new collection of scientific data on marine debris on all beaches in the city.

“With this data, Kota Kinabalu City Hall will be able to put in place better waste management and collection facilities later this year,” he added.

Christopher said they are working with the Sabah Department of Education to provide reliable and safe drinking water to all students and teachers instead of relying exclusively on plastic bottles for drinking water.

“It will greatly reduce Sabah’s single-use plastic problem in the process,” he said, explaining that students usually use plastic water bottles to get drinking water.

He said Blu Hope was working with French water filter manufacturer Fonto de Vivo alongside Ocean Generation in the UK to provide a safe water filtering system for schools as well as reusable bottles for students. .

Earlier this week, Blu Hope launched its Water is Life – Rethinking Plastics and Education outreach program to educate and raise awareness among school children.

According to Blu Hop co-founder and community director Monica Chin, they plan to engage students with short videos and multilingual assignments to raise awareness and help change behaviors at home.

The program will initially involve 30 schools with fewer than 10,000 students and teachers. It is expected to last around four months and start with a five-school pilot program involving less than 4,000 students and teachers in Pulau Gaya, Sepanggar and Menumbok.

In addition to state and education officials, the French Ambassador to Malaysia, Roland Galharague also made a donation from the embassy for the Blu Hope project.

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