There’s no way to sugar-coat the situation; on April 16, 2022, The Star reported that Malaysia was “at risk of losing coastal areas” and “over 15 per cent” of our country’s beaches are gone due to coastal erosions caused by rising sea levels. According to Dr Fredolin Tangang, a climatologist at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, this was a result of glaciers and sea ice melting from global warming.
Last December, Malaysia suffered the worst case of floods it has ever seen due to torrential rains, which cost the livelihoods of over 125,000 people. A Reuter’s article stated that for the first time ever, the country sought aid from the UN Green Climate Fund “to develop a national plan to adapt to climate change”.
But this isn’t news to anyone. Despite the urgency of limiting the global warming threshold to 1.5 Celsius and the preventive measures we’ve taken to lessen the impact of climate change, the tipping point to a world forever changed is far too close for comfort. One of the biggest catalysts of climate change is plastic waste management. Did you know, even when we recycle our trash, most of our plastic waste ends up in the landfill or is incinerated?
Here are two main reasons why. One, it costs more to process plastics than it is to produce it, and two, because plastic is a malleable, almost indestructible material that’s used in nearly everything—it gets complicated for recycling plants to properly process the material.