Microplastics, which can have toxic effects, are everywhere – even in Malaysia. Local research has found them to be present in marine animals (fish) and in rivers.
In 2017, 2 Malaysian doctors began a study which tested 11 colon surgical specimens from patients for microplastics and found them to be present in all the specimens collected.
International animal studies have found microplastics can affect fertility, and also cause slow development, learning disabilities and anxiety.
Statistics showed that 101,949 tonnes or 13% of trash generated by Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya residents alone in 2021 comprised plastic waste.
In this first of a 3-part series on plastics by Bernama, local experts speak of the microplastics threat in Malaysia and what consumers can do to mitigate its effects – reduce the use of single-use plastics, and adopt a zero waste lifestyle as much as possible.