On 16 September 2023, approximately 40 residents of the Kampung Baru village community in Malaysia’s Redang Island joined a half-day workshop to learn new skills for upcycling discarded plastic, with support and funding from the ASEAN SDGS Frontrunner Cities Programme Phase 2 (SDGs-FC 2) under IGES.
The event was organised by SDGs-FC 2 and Malaysia’s Federal Department of Town & Country Planning (PLANMalaysia) in collaboration with University of Terengganu, Malaysia (UMT), the Kampung Baru Village Development & Security Committee (JPKK) and partners.
This activity supported the implementation of Malaysia’s Second National Coastal Zone Physical Plan formulated by PLANMalaysia (RFZPPN-2), which guides the utilisation, conservation and management of coastal resources in the peninsular Malaysia and Labuan.
This event was built on UMT’s pilot project with the Sustainable Ocean Alliance Malaysia (SOA-MY Ocean Hope), a global network founded in 2014 by youth advocates and volunteers from the university who developed and implemented innovative solutions for restoring ocean health within the current youth’s generation.
As part of the training, the island community received the first plastic upcycling machine developed by the Sea Monkey Project, a Kuala Lumpur-based social enterprise which provides solutions to address the challenges of waste plastic, especially in coastal areas. The machine enables users to shred and melt waste plastic (Type 2, 4 & 5) to be transformed into usable items such as flower pots, coasters and small figurines. There is a potential for producing souvenir items which could be sold to generate side income and for general awareness raising.
The transfer of the first plastic upcycling machine to the villagers opens up many new opportunities for awareness raising and public education. The machine is a portable educational tool and can be conveniently moved around various locations within the island.
SDGs-FC 2’s support to Redang Island is expected to contribute to strengthening the grassroots capacity for bottom-up pilot sustainability projects, and complement similar initiatives by other organisations. It is hoped that a thriving, empowered community of change agents and sustainability advocates will emerge from this early effort to create a sustainable, green and livable Redang Island as a model for the ASEAN region.
ASEAN SDGs-FC Phase 2 (Supporting Bottom-up Innovations for Addressing Land-based Plastic Marine Debris and Urban Resilience in ASEAN Cities) is supported by the Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). Implementation of ASEAN SDGs-FC Phase 2 through IGES is underway until August 2024.
Redang Island, Kuala Nerus District, Terengganu, Malaysia