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UMS pushing for total ban on single-use plastics

27th February, 2020


KOTA KINABALU: Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) is pushing to implement a total ban of single-use plastics in its premises this year.

Deputy vice-chancellor, Assoc. Prof. TS Dr Ramzah Dambul said it was one of the institution’s biggest initiatives this year as an EcoCampus.

Upholding the brand, he said it was their responsibility to promote such movement and put words into action. Such recognition should not only lie on good documentation, he said, stressing it would be pointless if the knowledge is not translated into practice.

“We need to make a big change this year, we must have a policy on green.

“For now, we don’t have one; although we are named EcoCampus, but there is no policy on green.

“We also don’t have any authority (related to the matter) therefore I have challenged them to come up with it. It’s a very good initiative.

“Of course, it will not be easy as it will affect the entire ecosystem – cafes and students will be angry, and events will be affected but like I said, even though we have awareness and knowledge but don’t translate them into practice, it will be meaningless,” he said.

He was speaking before launching the Sabah’s Seven Steps Methodology Workshop for Eco-Schools and FEE EcoCampus Programme here on Wednesday.

The programme, jointly organised by UMS and WWF Malaysia, saw the participation of 12 primary and secondary schools, as well as University College Sabah Foundation, and Politeknik Kota Kinabalu.

The three-day workshop will provide participants with the ‘seven steps’ methodology – a series of carefully engineered measures to help schools and campuses maximise the success of their sustainability efforts.

According to Dr Ramzah, environmental sustainability is one of today’s greatest challenges.

He noted that humans have been putting pressure onto the environment despite being aware of the effects caused by the various activities.

He further stressed the importance of maintaining the State’s green assets, and called for the development of environmental-based tourism for Sabah’s economy.

“We hope the ‘green’ would not only become a brand for these schools; we really need to teach them to adopt it as part of a lifestyle, a culture.

“It is okay to have less green programmes, as long as you practise the lifestyle.

“This is the best way to start the culture in schools because these students will determine the future of Sabah,” he said.

Also present were WWF Malaysia’s Manager of Resource Development and Management Education for Sustainable Development Programme, Saufi Aiman Mohd Jamil and Director of UMS EcoCampus Management Centre Assoc. Prof. Dr Berhaman Ahmad.

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