We must combat water shortages, plastic pollution in Sabah

THERE is an urgent need for water in many parts of the world, and this need has far-reaching effects.

The increased use of bottled water is one way that a water shortage contributes to plastic pollution.

People may start purchasing mineral water as a safer and more dependable source of hydration, as they grow more concerned about the quality of their water supply.

However, since each bottle can only be used once, this generates a sizable amount of plastic waste.

In addition to harming wildlife, this plastic waste ends up in landfills and oceans, where it can take hundreds of years to degrade.

Additionally, it contributes to the larger issue of plastic pollution, a serious environmental concern.

It is significant to note that the issue is not just caused by the water bottles but also by the production, delivery, and disposal processes, all of which have an impact on the environment.

Additionally, the production of bottled water often requires more energy than treating tap water, adding to the environmental burden.

Plastic pollution is a serious issue worldwide. Sabah is not an exception. China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam are the top four nations identified in a 2015 study as contributing to ocean plastic pollution.

More than 55% of the plastic waste that ends up in the ocean each year originates from these nations.

Additionally, Sabah and Malaysia are listed among the top 20 nations that contribute the most to the global problem of ocean plastic pollution.

Like many other places in the world, Sabah receives its share of plastic waste from a variety of sources, including citizens, companies, and governments.

It has negative effects on the economy and public health in addition to harming the environment and wildlife.

Unfortunately, recent occurrences like the ongoing flood in Sabah have only worsened water shortages by further disrupting the supply.

The increased run-off from the floods may introduce more plastic waste into rivers and oceans, where it may endanger marine life.

Therefore, the floods may also directly contribute to plastic pollution. The water supply could be further impacted by the floods, which would raise the demand for bottled water.

The floods could also harm water treatment facilities.

It is crucial that we take action to lessen our reliance on bottled water and switch to more environmentally friendly substitutes in order to combat this issue.

This might entail spending money on water purification systems, encouraging people to drink tap water, and promoting the recycling of plastic bottles.

In order to guarantee that all citizens have access to clean, safe drinking water and to make the infrastructure more resilient to natural disasters like floods, governments and businesses can also work to improve public water infrastructure.

To address water shortages and plastic pollution, the local government and water department have a critical role to play.

They are in charge of managing and maintaining the public water infrastructure and making sure that residents have access to clean and safe drinking water.

They can also enact laws and rules that encourage people to use tap water and discourage them from using bottled water, such as levying fines or taxes on bottled water or promoting water refill stations.

In conclusion, water shortage is a complex issue with many causes and consequences. One of those consequences is plastic pollution, which is a major environmental concern that must be addressed.

By reducing our reliance on bottled water, we can help to mitigate this problem and work towards a more sustainable future.

The local government and water department have a crucial role to play in addressing this problem.

We must all work together to ensure that everyone has access to clean and safe drinking water, and to be prepared for disruptions in the water supply, including those caused by natural disasters such as floods.

* Haidy Henry Dusim is a senior lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Mara.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.