Marine litter and plastic pollution is a serious issue in Malaysia. The country is working to enhance collective efforts towards long-term cooperation to address this challenge.
Causes and challenges
Malaysia receives a large amount of illegally traded plastic waste. Domestic enforcement has been stepped up, but the country still needs all Parties to cooperate, to enhance existing legal instruments or through establishing a new global treaty.
At a regional level, Malaysia plays an active role as a member of the Coordinating body of the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) and the ASEAN working Group on Coastal and Marine Environment. These platforms are useful vehicles to strengthen national work on marine debris and plastic pollution.
National policy-level intervention is also underway, such as the implementation of the ‘Malaysia Roadmap Towards Zero Single Used Plastics, 2018- 2030’ (October 2018).
Malaysia is also seeking opportunities to deploy technologies to address the issue of plastic pollution from enforcement to finding alternatives. Malaysia also recognises that apart from reduce, recycle and reuse, the focus should also be “replace”, which requires the application of new technologies and alternatives such as environment friendly polymers.
Increasing awareness, education, capacity and resourcing is also considered important to tackle marine plastic pollution at source. The country is working to enhance the intersectoral cooperation, with NGOs, private sector and international partners, to address the issue holistically, together with the Government.