By Karen Bong
KUCHING, July 9: Single-use plastic straws and carry bags will be banned at Kuching Festival 2022 as Kuching South City Council (MBKS) aims to reduce plastic waste, keeping the fairgrounds and city green in line with its sustainable agenda as the fair is scheduled to start in 20 days.
Festival organising chairman and councillor Goh Tze Hui emphasised that the festival, which is expected to welcome tens of thousands of visitors, produces one to two tonnes of rubbish a day that would end up in a landfill.
“Since 2019, we have already put a ban on styrofoam food packaging. So this time, we will eliminate the use of plastic straws and carry bags.
“We want to encourage the public to bring their own recycled bags and even containers so that we can reduce the use of single-use plastic items,” he said when joining Mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng in the WeeShallTalk live session with the community today.
Taking their green initiatives very seriously by incorporating recycling and plastic use reduction values, Goh added that this year, MBKS will also be working with its partners to collect waste cooking oil from the fairgrounds to be properly disposed of or recycled.
“This is to prevent the used oil from being dumped into the drain whereby the council will need to waste more money on cleaning it up. Moreover, stall traders will be paid a nominal fee. I think that this is a win-win situation to benefit both traders and the environment,” he explained.
Wee also reminded that keeping the city clean and green is a collective responsibility and the community’s discipline and collaboration is significant in achieving this.
“MBKS is aiming for no plastic straws in all areas, especially hawker centres, under our jurisdiction by the end of this year.
“We will hold another series of meetings to communicate this matter with relevant stakeholders including coffeshop associations and hawkers possibly at the end of this month,” he said.
Meanwhile, Goh has confirmed that the much-anticipated Kuching Festival 2022 that will begin on July 29 until Aug 21 will feature 333 food and beverage stalls on its main fairgrounds and 90 booths for the indoor trade fair.
Hoping to create a more vibrant festival for the public to enjoy, he said that there will be new decorations with better lighting effects as well as a wide array of shows, programmes and activities for everyone.
“Works are in progress to set up the fairgrounds and we hope for good weather throughout the three weeks so that the public can come to relax and have a good time,” Goh said. — DayakDaily