Tuesday, March 10, 2020



Waste can usually be found around residential, industrial and commercial areas. Waste can be categorized into 5 types namely liquid waste, solid waste, organic waste, recyclable waste and hazardous waste. The waste is extremely harmful to humans and marine life, especially solid waste.


Solid waste includes a wide range of products available in your home along with commercial and industrial locations.
Solid waste is commonly broken down into the following types:

  • Plastic waste – This consists of bags, containers, jars, bottles and many other products that can be found in your household. Plastic is not biodegradable, but many types of plastic can be recycled.
  • Paper/card waste – This includes packaging materials, newspapers, card boards and other products. Paper can easily be recycled and reused.
  • Tins and metals – This can be found in various forms throughout your home. Most metals can be recycled. Consider taking these items to a scrap yard or your closest recycling center to dispose of this waste type properly.
  • Ceramics and glass – These items can easily be recycled. Look for special glass recycling bins and bottle banks to dispose of them correctly.

While most solid waste can be recycled, however, not everything we can recycle. There are items that we cannot recycle. These include:

  •  Plastic bags or recyclables inside plastic bags
  • Takeaway coffee cups
  • Disposable nappies
  • Garden waste Polystyrene (foam)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Syringes or medical waste
  • Dead animals
  • Oils
  • Ceramics, ovenware or light bulbs

Based on statistics extracted from the scales at the Madang Disposal Site, food waste recorded the highest volume at 45% followed by 21% of paper and 18.4% of plastic per month in 2010.

Paper: black and white paper, magazines and newspapers
Plastic: plastic bottles, plastic bags, supermarket plastic, pet plastic and non-pet
Iron / metal / copper: includes vehicle battery
Aluminium: cans of milk, cans of food and drinks
Rubber: tires and all rubber elements
Leftovers (food waste) 


In this article, we will focus on the dangers of plastic waste on our earth. According to the study, plastic waste in Asian countries is increasing. However, China has decided not to take waste paper, plastics, textiles and other materials - any by-products made when the metal is separated from its ore from the United Kingdom. This is because China is trying to reduce pollution in its own country as a result of too much plastic waste. Therefore, the United Kingdom is seeking a new 'victim' to dispose of their plastic waste, Malaysia. Over the past year, it was reported that Malaysia imported 157,299 tonnes of plastic waste, up 273 per cent compared to the previous year.

Plastic waste is the accumulation of plastic objects such as plastic bottles and more in the earth's environment that adversely affects wildlife and human habitat. They are also classified as large quantities of non-recyclable plastics that end up in landfills or the developing world, dumped into unregulated landfills. Non-recyclable plastics enter our environment, polluting our oceans and causing damage to our ecosystem. In less developed countries, the most plastic waste eventually ends up in the oceans, which means that marine animals are very dangerous. However, plastics are slowly declining (taking 400 years or more) due to their chemical structure, which presents a major challenge.

Plastic waste disposal can affect marine life. Marine animals can be caught in plastic objects (such as plastic rings holding canned drinks together), drinking plastic, and exposed to plastic chemicals, which can change their physiology from time to time. A recent study found that 'turtles oceans that consume only 14 pieces of plastic are at higher risk of death. In particular, young turtles are at higher risk because they tend to drift with the same current that attracts plastic waste, and they are less selective than their elders about what they eat.

Apart from the disposal, the burning of plastic waste is also very harmful to human health. Waste combustion or incineration releases various pollutants into the air, water and soil. Air emissions include carbon monoxide, greenhouse gases, acids (Nox, Sulfur dioxide, HCI), dioxins, furan, heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium depending on the type of residue burned. Direct and indirect exposure to such substances may include through inhaling air, direct contact with contaminated soil or water, or digestion of toxins entering the food chain that may have adverse health effects affecting the neurology, immune, reproductive and endocrine systems.

Therefore, various measures have been devised to overcome this problem. For example, reducing plastic use, increasing awareness about plastic recycling such as education. Education is very important because it can change people's knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours towards plastic waste management. Education can be given through direct teaching method or simulation method in schools and home.

Today, many non-governmental companies and social enterprise are set up to help address the problem of plastic waste disposal. For instance, UPCycled Shack by Tressie Yap is a social enterprise where she taking a different way to educate the underprivileged communities to make them see trash as their free capital of the businesses. She made all the communities that she is working with her business partners in crafting trash to distributed goods to make the environmental and economically sustainable at the same time. She gave the idea of ​​upcycled the unused objects and switched them to other new functionalities. Since she is a fashionable person, she loves to make bracelets, necklaces, earrings and many other accessories.


Technically, upcycling is described by some as reusing a material without degrading the quality and composition of the material for its next use. It is a way to give your old things a ‘new life’ and can often be even more environmentally friendly than recycling. Upcycling isn't just the practice of transforming old materials into useable objects, it's the process of breathing a new lease of life into well used and loved items to give them a new story and personality. All this while at the same time creating something useful, functional and beautiful. Upcycling is the process of converting waste or useless products into quality new products or for a better environmental value. It is different from recycling, where recycling is the process of taking waste, generally consumer materials – plastic, paper, metal or glass – breaking it down and turning it into a reusable product.


The environmental benefits of upcycling are enormous. It doesn't just help curb the shocking volume of discarded materials and waste finding its way into landfills each year, it also reduces the demand for the use of new or raw materials in production. Lower demand for these materials means a reduction in air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, helping us conserve our precious global resources.

Refuse: Say no to pre-packaging & excessive use of plastics.
Reduce: What cannot be refused - by avoid unnecessary purchases.
Reuse: What cannot be reduced - by reuse/avoid single use items.
Recycle: What cannot be reused – try to recycle less.
Rot: The compostable & food waste for earth nourishment.