Sunday, January 11, 2009

USM bans polystyrene food containers

Monday January 7, 2008 The Star Online

PENANG: Polystyrene food containers have been banned in Universiti Sains Malaysia's main campus here with immediate effect as part of its move to be green.

USM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dzulkifli Abdul Razak said all the 32 cafeteria operators would stop using non-biodegradable styrofoam food containers as part of the university's green campaign.

“We have also prohibited the use of styrofoam and other form of polystyrene material,” he said after opening the Sejahtera Cafe at the campus here Monday.

“From now on, the cafeteria operators must use eco-friendly biodegradable containers made of oil palm waste instead of the harmful styrofoam,” he said.

A study carried out on Saturday showed that of the 7,000 food containers used in the campus daily, only 1,000 were biodegradable.

Prof Dzulkifli said the operators had agreed to absorb the cost, adding that the biodegradable containers cost about 20 sen each while styrofoam containers cost about three or four sen each. There would be no increase in food prices.

“We encourage students to eat in cafeteria using washable plates instead of opting for take-away,” he said.

Prof Dzulkifli said the ban on styrofoam would later be extended to the USM health campus in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, and engineering campus in Nibong Tebal, Seberang Prai Selatan.

The initiative to stop the use of styrofoam was mooted by the students to promote a better future.

“All the 30,000 USM staff and students are the catalyst for the initiative,” he said.

During the function, “The White Coffin” signature campaign was launched for USM students and staff to pledge their commitment to support sustainable initiatives to reduce adverse impact on environment.

“We are also seriously conducting research to produce biodegradable plastics. Our aim is to eliminate all types of substances that are unfriendly towards Mother Nature,” Prof Dzulkifli said.

He said 25 students from Taiwan who visited USM recently had shown that a change in attitude and mindset was possible.

“The Taiwanese students brought with them reusable chopsticks and foldable containers. The students did not even have to use the plates provided during meals.

“The students washed the containers and chopsticks for subsequent use,” he added.

**This is a copy & paste from The Star Online 7/01/08, you can visit the original source at :


Frederick said...

I think it is a wise decision to ban polystyrene and other local U should follow this to provide a better environment for our next generation...

Wai Kit said...

However UM banned Chinese Food Stall. I really cannot understand the rationale behind.

I 100% support USM to ban polystyrene....

Frederick said...

Heard that UM is goin to ban polystyrene from 1st February onwards.....wakaks....great...

Anonymous said...

dumbest freakin thing I have ever heard of... Ban PS??? Ever heard of a life cycle analyis? It takes more energy to create paper cups than it does plastic. PS is lightweight, therefore reduced shipping costs. Rigid, you only have to use one. Way to think it through, morons. Wise decision about something you know nothing about.

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