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UMP embarks on 6R Campaign for sustainable green campus

Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) has recently embarked on its Green Policy, and launched the “Let’s Break Up with Single-Use Plastic” campaign on February 19, 2019, at its Sports Complex, Gambang Campus, to encourage students and faculty members alike to reduce the usage of plastics.

The Policy is the result of an initiative by the UMP Sustainability Committee, which falls under the purview of the Waste Management Cluster, to inculcate greater awareness on the need to reduce and eventually abandon single-use plastics on university ground. 

Dubbed 6R, the Policy focuses on six principles – namely, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot and Re-Think – in the aspect of waste management, which forms part of the university’s healthy living environment initiative. 

The campaign was launched by UMP Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Sri Dr. Daing Nasir Ibrahim, during his 2019 Annual Mandate event, as a proactive move by the university in response to the Government’s call for Malaysia’s Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018-2030 – which was unveiled by the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change (MESTECC) on October 17 last year.

According to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation), Professor Dato’ Dr. Mashitah Mohd Yusoff, who also chairs the Campus Sustainability Committee, among the main objectives of the campaign is to encourage the use of recycled materials for straws, grocery bags, and food and drink containers. 

“These three categories of plastic items contribute 30 to 40 percent of the total waste generated at the university,” she said. 

“Due their non-biodegradable nature, these categories of waste could not be recycled by the appointed vendors, and ultimately, will continue to pollute the environment,” she stressed. 

Sustainable waste management should be empowered, in line with the development and operation of the Composite & Recycle Centre on campus. 

On that same breadth, this campaign also aims to create an increased awareness of the importance and responsibility of UMP residents to cut down the generation of domestic household solid waste – which will subsequently lessen the waste tonnage sent the disposal site and consequently, will reduce pollution to the environment and green-house effects, both of which have had irreversible negative impacts on the global climate. 

In this regard, several programmes have been and will continue to be implemented by the Occupational Safety & Health Management Office (OSHMO) to create a greater awareness of this Green Policy initiative in a sustainable manner.

Among them is 'MYTAPAU', wherein UMP residents are given incentives if they bring along their own containers to pack the take-away food. 

In another programme, UMP is collaborating with the Kuantan Community Rehabilitation Centre (PPDK) to recycle printed materials, such as advertisement banners, into reusable grocery bags.
 
The university’s Sustainable Green Campus and Environmental Management initiatives have borne fruits, where UMP was listed at No. 97 globally and No. 6 domestically, in the recently announced UI Greenmetric World University Ranking 2018. 

Such ranking has translated UMP to be the 29th best in Asia and 16th in Southeast Asia. The assessments were based on seven main criteria – Acreage and Infrastructure; Energy and Climate Change; Waste Disposal; Water; Transportation; Education; and Healthy Lifestyle.

SCHEDULED WASTE MANAGEMENT

Scheduled waste management is a continuous effort done by a group of staffs in UMP. In order to comply with Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005, a staff from Center of Technology Management & Services (CTMS) has attended a training to acquire Scheduled Wastes Manager competency. This staff has passed the examination, submitted Field Training Report and now waiting for the result from the Department of Environment, Malaysia to acquire full competency.

CTMS also has produces button batch to promote effort to reduce generation of scheduled waste in UMP. A few posters also have been distributed reminding students the benefit of reducing generation of scheduled waste to them and also to the environment.

Chemical walkabout, attended by person in charge of a few laboratories in UMP has been conducted on 16 August 2018. One of the topic that has been discussed in the walkabout is on how to manage scheduled waste properly. This include labelling, storage and also selection of proper container.

On 16 January 2018, scheduled wastes that has been collected from several laboratories in UMP has been sent for disposal by qualified contractors, Urban Environmental Industries Sdn Bhd. This process is carried out once in every 180 days to comply with legal requirements as well as to ensure our environment is protected. Second disposal will be conducted on September 2018. Disposal of mercury thermometer also has been conducted as UMP has implemented Zero Mercury Policy.

RECYCLED MATERIAL EXHIBITION AWARD

31 July 2018 - OSHMO, in collaboration with EKSA committee of UMP has organized a Recycled Material Exhibition Award which was held during Quality & Innovation Day UMP. The aim of the award is to give recognition to the department that produced recycled products that can be used in UMP. The evaluation is based on whether the product is made creatively and incur small cost. The functionality of the products is one of the key point for the award. The product must be made of papers, boxes, plastic or aluminium bottle only.

The four participant is judged by OSHMO & EKSA committee representative a day before. The products are displayed throughout Quality & Innovation Day UMP whereby significant number of UMP staff is available.

OSHMO really hopes that the award can be held every year to appreciate those who take extra effort in producing products from recycled material in UMP. The effort will surely benefit UMP in long run and at the same time cultivate the culture of recycling among UMP’s staffs.

PPDK’S RECYCLED PRODUCT EXHIBITION

31 July 2018 – OSHMO has taken an initiative to promote recycled product from Pusat Pemulihan Dalam Komuniti Tunas Sri Teruntum (PPDK) during Quality & Innovation Day, UMP. PPDK is a day care centre for child with special needs. It is an initiative by PPDK to support their centre by producing recycled product. The product is jointly made by the teachers and also the child. By producing the product, it will help the child to practise their psychomotor.

The product, such as bags, pencil cases & pillows was made from recycled banner and cloth. It is a great effort by PPDK in reusing the banner & bunting since the material will take so many years before it will be degraded. OSHMO, with the help of a few other departments from UMP, will facilitate the initiative by PPDK by supplying used banner & bunting to PPDK. With number of programs held in UMP and number of promotional material that has been used, UMP are able to give steady supply to PPDK. UMP also will look into possibilities in using product from PPDK as UMP’s official souvenir.

It is a great joint venture between UMP & PPDK in managing the waste sustainably while creating product that can used daily. OSHMO really hope that other government agencies will follow suit in this great effort.