July 16, 2017

Going all Biodegradable in Sabah

Going all Biodegradable in Sabah

Staffers of Green Buddy, an eco-friendly business in Sabah, show off the company's biodegradable bags and food packaging. Photo Credit: Green Buddy via Facebook

Sabah is known for a number of things: its world-renowned biodiversity, its stunningly beautiful landscapes, its diving havens of marine beauty … and its rampant plastic waste.

Despite frequent educational campaigns, locals continue littering with wanton abandon. Most of these campaigns, well-intentioned as they have been, have failed to make significant enough progress in convincing locals not to litter. As a result, the state has long been beset by excessive amounts of unsightly trash strewn all around from roads to forest paths and from beaches to river shores. Of the 500 tons of rubbish collected around Kota Kinabalu that end up in a local landfill, much of it is plastic bags.

Littering has become so bad in Sabah that it is threatening the state’s tourism industry. Photo Credit: lux.musica.khaos via Flickr

But now a homegrown eco-company called Green Buddy has found a solution: biodegradable plastic bags and food packaging. The idea is that if many locals can’t be weaned off littering, at least we can give them bags that, unlike synthetic plastic products, disappear naturally after a while if they are left behind. The company says its products degrade within a year.

“We have seen what normal plastic bags can do to our environment,” said Kelvin Chin, the company’s managing director. “While there have been numerous programmes to control the use of plastic bags, such as the no plastic bag on weekends, we can always recycle it or reuse it as the first step,” he was quoted as explaining by the Daily Express. “We understand the impact normal plastic bags can have on our environment and that is why we produced biodegradable plastic bags which can rapidly degrade in12 months upon using it.”

What the company does is add biodegradable additives to its bags, which makes them prone to decomposition within a few short months. Green Buddy also makes fully organic food packaging that can endure heat for up to 100 degrees Celsius, while the products also boast water and oil resistant properties for up to six hours. They can be refrigerated and heated in a microwave.

“We believe that with the use of biodegradable plastic bags and biodegradable food packaging, it can create a healthy living environment, reduce blockages congestion of sewage lines and rivers, improve harvest and create more efficient waste recycling,” the managing director said. “We also believe that our biodegradable plastic bags can help protect endangered marine life and create a happy and healthy lifestyle for our future generations to come.”

Such eco-friendly startups are definitely the way forward in Sabah and elsewhere around the country if we want to reduce the massive amounts of plastic waste we produce.



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