IPOH: Poor waste management is among the main causes of the problem of plastics pollution which cannot be checked until today, the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) said.

Its president Prof Dr Ahmad Ismail said the management and separation of plastic waste must be done at home before it is collected by garbage trucks and sent to landfills.

“In my over 10 years of involvement in plastic pollution research, I see among the main causes of the pollution problem starts from the management of plastic items at home as well as the lack of discipline to do it well.

“The garbage trucks will not separate the types of waste as they will send them directly to the landfill.

“Currently, we see many conducting online purchases and a lot of plastic have been used to pack products especially fragile items.

“However, we forget how to place or manage the plastic packaging, including bubble wraps,” he said.

He said this in a seminar on Environmental Conservation and Effective Plastic Waste Management in Bagan Datuk through the CiscoWebex platform today.

Ahmad said if plastic waste is not managed well it will create a plastic waste island in the ocean after being dragged through rivers and into the sea.

As such, he urged all walks of society to manage plastic items well and not dispose them off arbitrarily to protect the ecosystem of marine life.

“Solid waste on the beaches does not come from the sea but from land which was carried along by rivers flowing to the sea and back to the beaches.

“That is why there are many plastic bottles on the beaches because we don’t manage plastic properly which will threaten marine life.

“Every individual must have strong awareness and understand the dangers of plastic pollution to prevent it from continuing to take place, especially in the ocean.

“If we are forced to bring plastic home, we must manage it well,” he said.

Ahmad said that among the best method is to practice recycling by separating plastic items and sending them to recycling centres or to be managed by local authorities.

The media earlier this year reported that Malaysia ranked eighth in the world for mismanaged plastic waste. — Bernama