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Malaysia biggest microplastic user, govt mulling dedicated law for plastic disposal
Published on: Thursday, June 06, 2024
By: FMT, Samuel Chua
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Malaysia biggest microplastic user, govt mulling dedicated law for plastic disposal
Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said there is a need for a robust legal framework to phase out single-use plastics, increase recycling rates, and combat plastic pollution.
PETALING JAYA: The government is considering the introduction of a dedicated law to address plastic disposal and pollution, says natural resources and environmental sustainability minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

“We are looking into whether we need specific legislation because there are gaps in the current framework. A lot of it relies on local governments, so while some states like Penang, Selangor, Johor and Kuala Lumpur are moving fast, others are not.

“We need a national approach to deal with plastic pollution,” he told a press conference after officiating the 26th International Surveyors Congress at Berjaya Times Square Hotel here.

A recent study had found that Malaysia ranked the highest among 109 countries in consuming microplastics and among the top 10 for inhaling the most microplastic particles.

According to The Straits Times, the study, published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, found that Malaysians eat an average of 502.3mg of microplastics daily per capita.

The report also said that more than half of Malaysia’s microplastic consumption was from eating fish.

Calling the report “concerning”, Nik Nazmi highlighted the need for a robust legal framework to phase out single-use plastics, increase recycling rates, and effectively combat plastic pollution.

“Discussions are ongoing. We are working closely with the ministry’s environment department, meeting with NGOs, academics, and consultants to learn from other countries and determine the best way forward,” he said.

Nik Nazmi also said the ministry was in talks with the economy ministry to conduct a proper study on a national plastic policy.

Meanwhile, he said the government was drafting the Building Surveyor Act to regulate and ensure good governance within the construction industry.

“The act is currently in the discussion phase with industry players to establish the framework in terms of its concept, scope and other aspects,” he said.

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