‘Something must be done before it’s too late’
Lim Poo Ker
Clean & Happy Recycling
Lim Poo Ker is the Managing Director of Clean & Happy Recycling, a Mersing-based recycling firm and one of Batu Batu resort’s partners in sustainability.
"I used to run a driving school in Mersing before I started Clean & Happy Recycling 15 years ago.
“One day, I began to notice dumpsites in Mersing looked very bad. There was open burning all the time, and I saw too many recyclable items being thrown away.
I realised something must be done before it's too late. And that's when I had the idea of starting a recycling company.
Batu Batu is very active in recycling. Their team collects all recyclable items from the resort and the nearby beaches and sends it to us on a weekly basis.
Sometimes I find it sad that it’s not Mersing locals who are actively recycling. I think one way to change that is to start with the schools.
Let’s say a school has 800 students. If each student brings 1kg of recyclable goods, the school can collect nearly a tonne of recyclable goods in just one day.
That’s why when I started Clean & Happy Recycling 15 years ago, I approached the local education department to get their support to place recycling bins in all the schools. It was great that they agreed.
So whenever there’s a significant amount of recyclable items at a school, we’ll turn up to weigh, collect and bring the items to my yard to segregate. Then we’ll give a token sum of money to the school.
But the awareness must also come from parents. We can start by teaching them how to reduce use of plastics, especially plastic bags. In Mersing, I’ve seen people buying a loaf of bread that’s already in plastic packaging – and they still want a plastic bag for it! Or just one can of soft drink – and they want a plastic bag for that.
It’s such a waste, especially when most plastic bags can’t be recycled. And even the ones that can be recycled often end up at the landfill. So we should really try our best not to use plastic bags. If possible, I would recommend a ban of plastic bags altogether.”
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