onus on makers of disposable nappies - super absorbent polymer manufacturers
The head of the association said policy needs to ensure that they take some responsibility for the environmental impact of the product.
Manufacturers of disposable diapers need to take most of the responsibility and should contribute to reducing the environmental impact of the product.
Chairman of the Malaysian Waste Management Association D. L.
Ho said this in response to StarMetro's report.
Each year, 5 billion disposable diapers enter the landfill, which takes more than 200 years to break down.
According to the findings of the National Solid Waste Management Department, 12% of the country's landfill waste consists of disposable diapers.
He said developed countries are actively promoting the expansion of producer responsibility as part of their waste management policies.
This is to ensure that producers or manufacturers take some responsibility for the environmental impact of their products through various plans.
"These plans can include plans to levy a package tax, recover the recycled product, or process it before safely disposing of the product.
They can also contribute to the Environment Fund, which will be used to dispose of their waste . "
He Hong added that there are recycling efforts and models in developed countries such as Australia and New Zealand.
"Manufacturers take joint initiatives with local authorities to mix diapers with green waste to produce compost that can be used for gardening and landscaping," he said . ".
However, the cost of compost diapers may prove rather expensive, and the sale of compost may not be sufficient to cover the cost of investment and operation.
Ho believes that the best way is to go back to the basis of reduction, reuse and recycling.
Some of the factors that cause a large amount of disposable diapers are higher disposable income, especially parents who work busy in urban areas, and convenience.
Other factors, such as lack of awareness and concerns about the environmental impact of diapers, and cheaper imported diapers, may further promote the use of disposable diapers.
However, he said that the packaging of disposable diapers products may convey environmental and health information.
"Young couples should be encouraged to use reusable diapers and be aware of the positive hygiene and negative aspects of disposable diapers.
"Manufacturers and importers shall be taxed to include costs of disposal and environmental impact.
"Just like a health awareness poster for smoking, disposable diaper packs should carry environmental and health information and encourage the use of reusable diapers," Ho said . ".
He added that about three years ago, a large number of disposable diapers were found after the National Solid Waste Management Department commissioned a study of waste generation and composition.
It is reported that 12% of the waste comes from diapers, and the Commission is shocked.
He Hong said that since the average composition of diapers is usually less than 2% of the total amount of urban solid waste, this figure may need to be reviewed and re-examined.
Australia is equipped with 2 billion diapers a year, while 12% will be about 6 billion cm diapers a year in Malaysia.
"Diapers consist mainly of cellulose and super fibers.
Absorbent Polymer (SAP)
It may take 500 to break down.
"The disposal of diapers in sanitary landfill sites is safe because they are protected by non-penetration liners to prevent groundwater contamination," he said . ".
However, it is estimated that only 20% of our landfill sites are sanitary and the rest may cause groundwater pollution.
"Malaysian society has become richer and wants to use disposable diapers instead of reusable washable linen diapers used by parents and grandparents.
"Disposable diapers are only used when the baby goes out for a trip, but today we can hardly find a home that uses washable linen diapers," he said . ".