Science Magazine in 2015 rated Malaysia as one of the worst countries for plastic waste. In 2010 alone, we produced almost three million tonnes of plastic waste. And the number has all but stopped growing. We’re so used to the idea of using plastic bags to carry our groceries, plastic straws and bottles for our drinks and styrofoam packaging for our takeaways, for example. And at the end of the day these end up on our roadsides, in our rivers and seas, causing harm to the environment and posing choking hazards to our wildlife, especially marine animals like turtles, dolphins and whales etc. Plastic takes hundreds of years to degrade and even if it does, it will break down into small particles, which may be digested by the fish that we eat.
In an effort to encourage the public to say “No” to single-use plastic, BorneoTalk initiated its #idontdoplastic movement. The initiative, which is focussed on three main criteria – community, discovery and potential, was introduced three years ago and is still going strong today.
The #idontdoplastic movement encourages the public to not only cut down the use of plastic bags but to opt instead for reusable bags. Thus the BorneoTalk reusable bag and RETRONET bag were created. The former features works by silk painting artist Narong Daun, whose Sarawak-themed paintings are featured both on the bag and on the BorneoTalk Privilege Card that comes with each bag. The latter is a fashionable netbag that comes in fun vibrant colours and is perfect for the beach, the grocery store, shopping mall… wherever and whatever occasion.
In 2018, BorneoTalk in celebrating its 50th edition since it’s debut in 2006 and is aiming to inculcate the culture of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repeat among the public created a #BTHits50 sculpture out of empty plastic bottles. The structure was a statement to bring the message across on how by recycling, everything could be made beautiful and purposeful instead of having them discarded. The sculpture was a collaboration with Artsy Daphy, Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites, Imperial Hotel Kuching, Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan (MBKS) and Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara (DBKU).
The #idontdoplastic movement is a small step on BorneoTalk’s part, but it contributes towards a global cause to put a halt to the usage of single-use plastic, ultimately creating a better place to live in.