The BMCC was pleased to organise a business forum to support the ongoing Green is GREAT Campaign by the British High Commission Kuala Lumpur, a comprehensive initiative to raise awareness against single-use plastics in Malaysia. In her welcoming remarks, BMCC Executive Director, Jennifer Lopez said, “Such is the function of the BMCC that we are able to fulfil a strategic and participatory role to facilitate collaborations across all industries to become aware and informed stakeholders towards important industry matters such as the common goal of creating a circular economy that incorporates zero single-use plastics.”
In his speech, Deputy British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Dave Thomas, spoke of the impetus for the Green is GREAT campaign and the upcoming initiatives in the collaborative pipeline between the British High Commission and MESTECC to support the capacity building of local innovators and researchers.
Representing the Malaysian Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC), Deputy Secretary General Dr. K. Nagulendran shared the Government’s efforts in addressing the plastics challenge, their current roadmap and how it aim to balance the nation’s socio-economic nucleus. He summarised the broad phases of the roadmap, beginning firstly with direct implementations against plastic bags and straws, whilst encouraging manufacturers towards a circular mindset. The phase progresses into deriving visible results from current investments in R&D, such as the producing of biodegradable polymers and eventually expanding the scope to adopting foreign technologies through international and regional cooperation.
David Rogers, Head of International Resource Management of WRAP, then presented on their involvement in the UK Plastics Pact and how Malaysia can follow similar guidelines to install a domestic agreement. David said “This means the housing industries, local authorities, collection companies and recycling businesses of the world would come together and agree to collect the material and turn it into a useable product that is sold and put back into manufacturing,” doing so through incentivised targets set by the government.
A panel discussion focusing on the roles of businesses saw Dr. K. Nagulendran and David Rogers joined by Annemarieke-de Haan (Managing Director of Unilever Malaysia), Dr. Sivapalan Kathiravale (Head, Environmental Preservation and Innovation Centre), Azliza Baizura Azmel (Corporate Services Director, Tesco Malaysia) and moderator Nik Tasha (Client Organisation Director, IPSOS) to discuss on their respective initiatives towards phasing out single-use plastics, including the challenges, benefits and opportunities for businesses who wish to inculcate practices to reduce or rethink its usage of plastics.
The BMCC thanks all our speakers and panelists for sharing their insight with our one hundred attendees, and a special appreciation to the British High Commission Kuala Lumpur for their support and the opportunity for the Chamber to play a role in the Green is GREAT campaign.
The forum was then followed by a special reception and screening of BBC Studios’ Blue Planet II. The event was graced by HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and HRH Tengku Zatashah binti Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, accompanied by YB Yeo Bee Yin, Minister of MESTECC and HE Charles Hay, British High Commissioner to Malaysia. The screening was part of a full-day programme under the Green is GREAT campaign which included an exhibition that showcased joint UK-Malaysian efforts in tackling plastic waste and protecting the environment.