Friday, 4 July 2008

Say NO to Plastic Bags

Yes, I know, we can't live without plastic. Some of us will die without plastic. No, we are not trying to get rid of all plastics from the World. That would be impossible and probably quite stupid. What we want to do is to reduce waste and consumption.

Just had a meeting with all the canteen operators in the Main Campus to brief them on this follow-up to The White Coffin in our effort to green the campus. And this is what we told them :
  • Don't give out the thin plastic carry bag too freely. In fact, they should tell their clients that it is now policy not to give out the bags. But they still have discretion - I told them to use their judge when it is appropriate to provide their clients with a plastic bag. Meanwhile, we have talked to a manufacturer this morning and will be making cloth bags for sale and distribution on campus.
  • Plastic bags and plastic sheets for wrapping food and keeping drinks and curry will no longer be allowed. The earlier policy is being reinforced. Eat and drink at the canteen. If the customers want to takeaway, bring own food container or tumbler (or mug). For drinks, if customer don't have a tumbler, then we will allow the use of PP (Polyprolene) plastic cups which can be reused and recycled. Paper cup is the last option.
  • Straws are also discouraged. They should not be given out freely.
  • Mineral water or drinking water in plastic bottles can still be sold. But it will not be distributed at USM events and meetings.
We are also encouraging the canteen operators to take an active part in recycling, especially plastic wares (e.g. bottles).

If you want to know more, you can download the PDF files from the Health Campus website (look under Publication).

Meanwhile we have been engaging the campus community on their views on our effort to reduce plastics in USM. Up to this moment we have distributed a very simple questionnaire to 32 staff (during our green office briefing with the USM Library) and about 200 new students (as at 2 July 2008). You will see diverse opinions on the issues raised. We will continue to engage the campus community in meaningful dialogue leading to a change to a sustainable lifestyle. (click on the image for the larger version)




If you have an opinion, suggestion, comment, you are welcome to leave them on this blog.

15 comments:

Lanai said...

totally aggree!!!!

Michael Peter Foo said...

there should be more recycling points in the campus. Some key points are:

1. Lecture Hall Complex Foyer
2. All the cafeterias.
3. Main entrance to every school.
4. Sg. Dua gate.
5. Strategic bus stops
(i.e. Palapes, STUVW lecture hall complex, SK , Dewan Budaya, Eureka)

theresnoneedforit said...
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theresnoneedforit said...

here's a thought..maybe they should reduce the usage of papers as well.

HAR said...

I walked into IIUM on friday last week and was having much mixed feelings with the event that very early Friday morning. All the canteens/ cafetarias were using biodegradable packages instead of the polysterene or "white coffins"

I was most impressed at their recognition of USM's initiative whereby they gave recognition to USM on the green cards that they distributed.

CONGRATULATIONS USM - YOU HAVE LEAD ONE OTHER UNIVERSITY FOR A GREENER AND SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE!

CONGRATULATIONS TO IIUM ALSO FOR MAKING THIS EFFORT AND TAKING THIS BIG STEP>>> JOIN THE CLUB!
CONGRATULATIONS PROF. TAN SRI DATO' DZULKIFLI ABDUL RAZAK, OUR V.C. FOR TAKING THE LEAD.

and syabas to lik meng

Julian said...

Dr. Lee & Co.,

Whilst I wholeheartedly support the varsity's NO PLASTIC BAGS drive as well as the NO STYROFOAM's (kudos to the actions taken like imposing the use of paper food container), I question the silence on your part regarding cigarette smoking.

It may not be an environmental sort of "problem", so to speak, but isn't it an irony if we preach health and cleanliness and yet students are breathing in second hand smoke especially in the cafeteria around the campus?

As far as I know (or has rule been changed?) the campus perimeter is supposed to be smoke-free but why then the blatant disregard of the rules? If the high-spirited security personnel are all out enforcing other rules of the varsity, why then the two eyes closed scenario?

Is the silence meant to protect and pacify a population of the university's smoking staff?

I'm proud to see USM doing well and always reaching higher but something has to be done about this matter - especially after drastic measures have been taken to reduce the use of styrofoam, and now, plastic bags.

farahD said...

I woulnt mind having this kind of campaign in the campus but somehow I find it a lil irritating.

Case like if this person is packing up for his or her friends, how do you supposed it will happen ? no plstic bags at all ? just imagine carrying all 4 or 5 brown containers with ur bare hands? at least if it's a no-no plastic bags...do provide some alternative. But all i see is...the canteen people are all too afraid to even hand out a plastic bag especially when it is necessary..even if they are begging for it.somehow I dont think it is relevant without a proper planning and alternatives.

And where is the cloth bags?? I think when carrying out certain things it must come with the solutions AT THE SAME TIME. not later.

Anyway its a good thing to save the earth...but one thing that makes this campaign will never work is by not providing back wat you have taken.

Creating awareness is good..but sometimes you have to also provide solutions which can be carried out at the same time.

thank you

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xiuxin85@hotmail.com said...

Dr Lee,

I am not too sure whether Can I get to know the questionaire that be distributed? Am doing my assignment on reusable shopping bag for my Master in USM. Thanks for your kindness.

May said...

hai..i'm from Universiti Tunku Abdul rahman that currently conducting "Say No to Plastic bag" campaign a case study in USM. So, may i know the actual date when is the campaign started? Thanks ya..

gfh said...
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