Beat Plastic Pollution: Recycling for a Sustainable Future at Hari Alam Sekitar Negara 2023

After the success of last year's inaugural Recycling Open Day held at Wisma YTL Cement, BUILDS is back with its annual Recyling Day. This year's efforts kicked off at Perak, which involved the Perak Hanjoong and Kanthan plants.

We collaborated with Kolej Vokasional Kuala Kangsar (KVKK) to organise a Recycling Open Day - a donation drive to collect recyclables - in conjunction with Hari Alam Sekitar Negara (HASN) 2023, together with the Perak Agriculture Department on 27 September 2023. The event held at the vocational college was officiated by the Perak Department of Environment (DOE) with the aim of fostering environmental awareness and combating environmental pollution, as well as empowering students and the Perak community to embrace a sustainable lifestyle. The celebration culminated on 30 September with the weigh-in of collected recyclable materials. In total, 5279 kg of materials were collected from the Perak community.

The HASN 2023 celebration in Perak was officiated by the Director of Perak’s Department of Environment, Dato’ Ts. Dr Haji Mohammad Ezzani bin Mat Salleh.

According to Director of Perak’s DOE, Dato’ Ts. Dr Haji Mohammad Ezanni bin Mat Salleh, “I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to YTL Cement and Kolej Vokasional Kuala Kangsar for their invaluable role in this year’s HASN 2023, themed Beat Plastic Pollution. Plastic pollution is a growing global issue with long-term detrimental environmental impacts. Acknowledging this, the Department of Environment is fervently committed to combating this issue within the Perak community, starting with awareness and educational programmes akin to today’s event. Indeed, collaboration is key for us to achieve meaningful change in environmental sustainability.”

Showcasing Sustainable Exhibits

At the event, students from diverse disciplines such as culinary arts, early childhood education, and automotive among others seized the opportunity to showcase ingenious environment-themed exhibits. Some innovative creations include furniture, food products and even learning materials, all brilliantly crafted from recycled and used materials.

Students from different disciplines showcased their talent in turning recyclables and used materials into innovative creations.

Fostering Recycling Habits

Complementing this effort, YTL Cement’s CSR arm, BUILDS has also donated three sets of recycling bins to be set up on college premises, with an aim to reinforce recycling habits among students and lecturers.

Three recycling bins were donated to inculcate recycling habits among the college’s students and lecturers.

Forging Lasting Impact through Tree-planting

To forge a lasting impact on the local environment, distinguished guests of the event joined hands with the students in a significant tree-planting activity. Donated by YTL Cement, 10 Pokok Kelat Paya were planted on the event day within the grounds of KVKK. Furthermore, YTL Cement has also committed to planting an additional 105 fruit trees sponsored by the Perak Agriculture Department. The additional trees will be planted within the college, other Perak schools’ compound the compound of Perak Hanjoong Simen by the end of 2023, underscoring a collective endeavour for a greener environment.

Director of Perak’s Department of Environment, Dato’ Ts. Dr Haji Mohammad Ezzani bin Mat Salleh planted a Pokok Kelat Paya in the college’s compound.

Dato’ Halimah Hassan (R) planted a Pokok Kelat Paya.

Mr. Lee Kwee Soon, Senior General Manager, Perak Hanjoong Simen Sdn. Bhd. joined the tree planting activity.

Raising Environmental Awareness

Before concluding the HASN 2023 celebration, a total of 200 KVKK students also attended an Environmental Seminar hosted by the environmental officer from the Perak DOE. The seminar encouraged students to use their available resources wisely and provided key insights on how they can adopt a sustainable lifestyle.

Mr Muhammad Izwan bin Mohammad Aminuddin, Control Officer from the Perak Department of Environment delivered the talk.

Puan Hajah Juriah binti Ahmad, Director of Kolej Vokasional Kuala Kangsar also shared the sentiment, “Since 1991, KVKK has been championing initiatives to increase awareness on the importance of protecting our environment. This year, we are proud to see all layers of society joining hands, such as students from Padang Rengas schools, our college students, local communities, government agencies and even industry players, coming together to celebrate our environment and make a difference.”

Puan Hajah Juriah binti Ahmad, Director of Kolej Vokasional Kuala Kangsar, delivered a welcoming remark.

Encouraging Recycling Habits

Embracing this year’s theme Beat Plastic Pollution, we launched a Recycling Open Day on 30th September 2023 in KVKK, Perak with the aim to foster the 4R habit (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) among the local communities, college students and lecturers as well as YTL Cement employees. The endeavour saw encouraging public turnout, resulting in 5,279 kg of recycled materials donated to the college. The materials were then given a second life, as they were sold to registered recycling contractor with the proceeds reinvested for the college’s future environmental initiatives.

15 volunteers from YTL Cement and 35 students and lecturers from Kolej Vokasional Kuala Kangsar sorted the recycled materials.

Proceeds from the recyclable sales were channelled to the college for their future environmental programmes.

Dato’ Halimah Hassan, Director of YTL Cement shared, “Over the years, YTL Cement and its subsidiaries have taken immense pride in building together with the Perak state and have played a key role in its development. Our team is honoured to be part of this year’s celebration as we witnessed great collaboration among the state government, educational institutions, and industry players, joining hands with a shared purpose. We know that it is our social responsibility to ensure a greener future for generations to come and through meaningful collaborations, we can mark a significant stride towards a more sustainable future.”

Dato’ Halimah Hassan, Director of YTL Cement, delivering her speech.