MIRI: Miri City Council (MCC)’s ‘No Straw’ campaign which was launched yesterday aims to educate the public on the need to stop using plastic straws.
The council believed that the educational method will be more successful towards achieving its objective rather than coming up with a law.
Mayor Adam Yii Siew Sang who launched the campaign at the Ramadan bazaar at Miri Indoor Stadium’s parking space said that in the initial stage, the council hoped to be able to convince the public and eatery operators to support the campaign.
“To be honest, it is not easy to impose and enforce the law against those using plastic straws.
“Therefore, we realise that persuading them to slowly reduce the usage and refuse it altogether would bear more fruits,” Yii told reporters.
On why the council chose plastic straws as part of its 5R (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose) programme, Yii said that it is because plastic straw is one of the items we could live without.
“It is really not an essential item (as) humans can live without (it). We are encouraging people to stop using it considering the negative impact it has on the environment and our marine life,” he added.
Yii was also happy to note that some local establishments had gradually stopped providing plastic straws to customers.
“This is actually a good way to support the campaign as when there is less supply, people will gradually adjust to the situation,” said Yii.
Plastic straws are said to be among the top 10 marine debris with their effect lasting a lifetime on the ground and ocean which are piling up daily.
It is also reported that straws are one of the items that had caused the death of marine animals like sea turtles after they ingested the item.
Currently, the ‘No Straw’ campaign only affects the Ramadan bazaars in areas under MCC including Miri Indoor Stadium, Saberkas, Morsjaya and Lutong.
Meanwhile to ensure cleanliness at Ramadan bazaars, Yii said inspection will be carried out on a random basis daily by the council’s public health officers to check on the hygienic aspect of the area and the food offered for sale there.
Also present at the launching ceremony were Miri District Officer Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf, campaign’s organising chairman Cr Karambir Singh who is also the chairman of LA21 and community development (LACD) standing committee, councillors, Miri Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) chairman Lee Khoi Yun and 37 Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN) students.