Circular economy roadmap for policy on plastics to be launched by 2020

Kuala Lumpur 160419 MITI Deputy Minister YB Dr Ong Kian Ming During Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce Conference (pic by Ismail Che Rus)

More than 60 countries have introduced some measures to curb single-use plastics waste such as imposing bans and levies


A CIRCULAR economy roadmap (CER) for plastics will be introduced by 2020, as part of the 2018-2030 roadmap towards zero single-use plastics.

The roadmap, to be spearheaded by the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, aims to provide a policy direction to all stakeholders including state governments in taking a unified and collective approach.

The International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming (picture) said Malaysia is now preparing to take the next step towards sustainability and in the process of developing a CER for plastics including bottles.

“The potential for the circular economy and recycling is huge, and the government will ensure Malaysia does not miss out (on this),” he said at the 18th Asean Federation of Plastics Industries Conference and the 29th Asia Plastics Forum in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, last week.

Currently, there is no uniform approach to address single-use plastics in Malaysia.

“While the government needs to provide incentives and support ‘replacement’ as part of the 4Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle, replace), the private sector’s role is also necessary to introduce innovative solutions,” Ong said.

He said in a circular economy, the waste becomes a valuable resource, to be recycled as raw material and made into new products and not thrown away.

“This would in turn reduce our reliance towards virgin raw materials or single-use plastic, per say,” he added.

Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association VP CC Cheah said plastic recycling industry had already contributed RM4.5 billion to the Malaysian economy.

“Plastic recyclers expect their contributions to the economy to increase to between RM15 billion and RM20 billion annually if there is more investment in technology, infrastructure and upgraded capacity.

“To progress towards a circular economy and to develop sustainably while protecting the environment, Malaysia needs a feasible, effective and advanced waste management system for the country.

We must address the issue of human behaviour, and not demonise any particular material or industry,” he told reporters in the media briefing.

In general, the plastic sector generates nearly RM31 billion in revenue last year, with 47% or some RM14.56 billion was from exports.

As for manufacturers of plastics from January to September this year, total trade value stands at RM19.76 billion, a 3.4% increase year-on-year (YoY), according to the government’s data.

Exports during the same period stood at RM11.11 billion, a 3.6% increase YoY.

As of March 2019, more than 1,500 manufacturing projects in the plastics industries with investments valued over RM18 billion has been implemented in Malaysia.

These projects have created more than 103,000 employment opportunities in the country.

Today, more than 60 countries have introduced some measures to curb single-use plastics waste such as imposing bans and levies.

Other countries have taken a phased approach and in some cases, complemented with economic instruments.





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