Federal govt considers streamlining regulations nationwide to address plastic pollution

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability (NRES) minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

By Christopher Lidom

KUCHING, April 1: Federal government is considering streamlining direction and regulations of plastic policies nationwide to address plastic pollution.

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability (NRES) Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said current legislation and rules with regards to plastic are fragmented, a result of freedom of implementation given to the local government authorities.

He said the local governments have its own say in this regard because it is recognised that different places may have different contexts or approaches.

“When we started (Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018-2030), the Federal government was talking about the general policies and direction, but a lot of the implementations were left to local government.

“I think it has been some years now and the first states that initiated pollution charges for plastic bags were Selangor and Penang and that was more than 10 years ago.

“So, I think we need to relook at whether we need to move at the national level together to overcome this problem as we think the problem is becoming more prevalent,” he told reporters after officiating Pathways to Plastic Neutrality: Collaborative Actions and Innovative Solutions program held in Unimas here today.

Nik Nazmi said it is known that the amount of plastic pollution in the rivers throughout the country and the surrounding ocean has contributed to flood occurrence.

Apart from that, the amount of micro plastic pollution in the food chain is also prevalent.

“In Malaysia, plastic pollution is among the highest, and that is why we are relooking into our plastic policies,” he added. – DayakDaily