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A non-governmental organisation (NGO) is hoping to see a ban on plastic straws in Sabah, to help reduce the use and dependancy on non-recyclable materials. -- NSTP Archive

PENAMPANG: A non-governmental organisation (NGO) is hoping to see a ban on plastic straws in Sabah, to help reduce the use and dependancy on non-recyclable materials.

Sabah Tzu Chi Foundation person-in-charge CK Chong said the organisation has worked with local authority to come up with a law against single-use plastic straw.

"However, there is also a concern whether it will be effective. There are many things that need to be taken into consideration and it is up to the state government to ban it or not.

"As NGO, of course we support the ban. Most plastic straws are not recyclable, thus becoming ultimate throw-away item. So, this is where we play our role to encourage people to use alternative straw made out of steel and bamboo," he said.

Chong, however said, as long as plastic straw is seen as sellable item among the business people, reducing its use will take time.

Beginning this year, plastic straw has been banned in all the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan. Following the move, many NGOs and individuals have called on the state government to adopt the ban.

This morning, Tzu Chi volunteers engaged with Kampung Tunoh villagers to teach them about 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) and how to segregate their waste properly. The 3R Segregation of Trash was organised by the Kapayan state constituency office.

The awareness programme, which started three weeks ago, covers 11 villages within Kapayan and Moyog constituencies. Yesterday, the programme was focused at traders and business operators in Donggongon town with Kapayan assemblywoman Jannie Lasimbang in attendance.

Meanwhile, Kapayan community development leader Cyril Gerald Liew said the awareness programme received encouraging response from villagers and business communities.

"Although we did not really emphasise on plastic straw to traders and business operators, we encourage them to stop using Styrofoam and opt for recyclable take-away container. We also toy with the idea of using banana leaf to wrap food for 'tapau' (take-away)."

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