CHALLENGE: Pageant contestants to persuade public not to use plastic bags
KOTA KINABALU: TWELVE young women will put their skills of persuasion to the test today to convince supermarket customers to say no to plastic bags.
The "No Plastic Bag Challenge" is one of the Miss Earth Sabah 2012 activities that will be held at Giant Hypermarket in Citymall, here.
All 12 finalists are required to encourage shoppers to use eco-friendly bag thus creating awareness among the public on the importance of preserving the environment.
Pageant organising director and former Miss Earth Malaysia 2009 Madelyne M. Nandu said the challenge was a platform for the young women to use their voice to persuade the public.
"It is something different. We want the finalists to really engage with the community to further promote the no plastic bag campaign.
"The challenge is beneficial for everyone.
"I hope the girls will see it as an opportunity to communicate with the people and spread awareness," she said during the official launching of Miss Earth Sabah 2012, near here, yesterday.
Winner of the "No Plastic Bag Challenge" will bring home a subsidiary title Miss Eco Giant.
Present was state Environment Protection Department deputy director Dr Jammy Gabriel.
A finalist, Grace Chang Siew Ling, 19, admitted she had always used plastic bags when doing her shopping but stopped after involving herself in the pageant.
Realising what plastics could do to the environment, she viewed the challenge as a mission for her to contribute to the society and environment.
"Personally, it is not hard to stop using plastic bags but what makes it difficult is the habit, because people are comfortable using plastics and we need to change that.
"Being part of Miss Earth Sabah, it is our responsibility to share our knowledge and tell the people that plastics can harm the environment."
Meanwhile, State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun hoped that Miss Earth Sabah 2012 finalists would play a proactive role in addressing the environmental issues.
In his speech delivered by Jammy, Masidi stressed the "No Plastic Bag Challenge" would spur initiative and creativity to a higher level to save the earth.
"The drive to stop the unnecessary use of plastics is very challenging but what all the finalists do, can be a starting point for a plastic free lifestyle among the public.
"What motivates me is to see how the finalists and society in general is eager to claim personal responsibility and take action."