– The Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program (WCS Malaysia) is working with various companies on ‘Give a Sip’ campaign together with 21 eateries in Kuching including Hilton Kuching.
As part of the campaign, the various eateries and corporations will help educate their customers on conservation of the marine environment and test the sipping or use of paper straws as alternatives. The various companies will also meet and be updated on the progress of the use of alternatives regularly. Where possible, data will be collected and then explained on the percentage of acceptance or concerns of these alternatives in the near future.
“The launch of ‘Give a Sip’ campaign in New York to reduce the use of single-use plastic straws mirrors our concern in Malaysia as well. In Kuching, there has been activities launched by several businesses to reduce or replace single-use plastic straws with paper straws. With this coalition of concerned, conservation-minded companies, we are hoping commitment from the 21 businesses will be a catalyst for residents of Kuching to start sipping their drinks or using paper straws or even bring their own reusable straws instead of requesting for plastic straws,” clarified WCS Malaysia Director, Dr Melvin Gumal.
According to representatives of Hilton Kuching, one of the 21 participating businesses, Hilton Hotels in South East Asia, including Hilton Kuching, is committed to change. Effective 30 June 2018, all the South East Asian hotels pledged to ‘Say No To Plastic’. The hotel chain’s commitment to plastic reduction is a global priority and Hilton Kuching is taking measurable actions to provide guests with alternatives including paper straws, no single-use plastic bottles in their food and beverage outlets, as well as garbage bags made of bio-degradable materials.
Based on research, an estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs and upon ingestion, marine life has a 50% mortality rate. To make matters worse, plastics that make their way into the ocean gets broken down into smaller pieces, which will be ingested by the seafood we eat and eventually end up in our bellies. “Experts predict that plastic production will increase by 40% over the next decade and making small changes to our daily lives will impact how much plastic waste ends up in the ocean,” said Dr Gumal.
WCS Malaysia commends the efforts of their partners including Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre and Sarawak Energy. Businesses large and small, including Hilton Hotel Kuching, Borneo Convention Center Kuching (Raintree Restaurant), Sharing Planet, Sharing Downtown, Sharing Tree, Sharing Too, Indah Café, The G Café, John’s Pie, Island’s Original, Black Bean, Once Upon A Café, Le Café Rouge, Fig Tree Café, Eiffel Coffee and Dessert, Odiya Café, Kai Joo Café, Restaurant Cahaya, Keday Kamek, NK Food Network and Thaali Punjabi Restaurant.
Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program is headquartered in Kuching, Sarawak, with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Kahang, Johor and Kuala Rompin in Peninsular Malaysia. Currently, WCS Malaysia works to conserve four priority species – orang-utans, sharks and rays, elephants and tigers. Go to https://malaysia.wcs.org/ for more information on WCS Malaysia and visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WCS.Malaysia/ for updates.