Friday, June 24, 2011

We at Waterfall Survivors has been cleaning waterfalls since 2009. And there is one thing that I find really disheartening. Signages are always seen at parks, waterfalls, rivers and recreational park where family and friends enjoy their picnic.

Cintailah Sungai Kita, Sila buang sampah ditempat yang disediakan, Di Larang Membuang Sampah Merata-rata, Denda RM500 ... and the list continues. And THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE YOU FIND MOST RUBBISH TOO!!!

Malaysians, aren't you shame on yourself when Tourist comes by at our Recreational Parks, Waterfalls and etc? It is not only going to reflect that Malaysia is a dirty place. It will basically directly reflect on YOU!


OK.. some people will tell me "Hey.. sorry I have not been to school!" So does that mean that you will throw rubbish all over of your home compound? Recently, we have been busy with some education and environmental projects on how we could change the mindset of Malaysian towards littering especially at our beloved waterfalls. While browsing through the web, I found this very interesting article by Tiger which I would love to share with all.

The Malaysian Litter Bug

July 10, 2007 by tigersden

Malaysians in general despite their ‘Pendidikan Moral’ or Moral Education continue to throw rubbish everywhere. Whether it be rivers, ponds, drains, streets, playgrounds, parks, it makes no difference to most Malaysians when it comes to littering. Just last month an incident occurred which left me in awe; I was at the street corner; waiting for a cab. While waiting for a cab; I decided to buy a box drink from the motorcycle vendor. I finish it but as there isn’t any trash can around I squash it and hold onto it until I find a rubbish bin. The cab pulls up, and I get in. The cab driver looks at me, turns to the side and asks me in the most befuddled voice, “Why are you carrying that box? I answer, “Because there isn’t any rubbish can around”. In broken grammar he then replies, No rubbish bin, so? Got floor what…

It’s not that they don’t know it’s wrong, they do. It’s just that they don’t care and they know that they would almost never be caught by an official, and even if caught, they know that throwing rubbish is seen by Malaysian law as such a minor offence that they could easily bribe their way out of it. Some might see littering as nothing much, but littering can set off a chain of events.

For example:

-I throw some rubbish in the drain, it gets clogged, it rains, there’s a flood.

-I throw some rubbish into the river; it contaminates the river killing off the fish and all the other creature’s dependant on the river.

-The rubbish strewn around the park collects water; creating a breeding ground for aedes mosquitos which infects people of the surrounding area.

-Sea creatures get stuck in the 6-pack plastic holder rings and die.

-Etc, etc.

Some also try to justify their actions saying, What they’re throwing is bio-degradable, and it helps fertilize the soil. True, almost everything is biodegradable; but it takes ages. Even items like conventional paper takes 1-5 months to actually biograde and because of mans tampering with these items (the lamination and ink), it leaves toxic traces which are harmful to the soil. Unless it’s stamped with the Biodegradable / Ok Compost mark, it can harm the soil; if in doubt, turn to the rubbish can.

Here’s a list of the length of time required for commonly used products to biodegrade when they are scattered about as litter:

- Cotton rags 1-5 months
- Paper 2-5 months
- Rope 3-14 months
- Orange peels 6 months
- Wool socks 1 to 5 years
- Cigarette butts 1 to 12 years
- Plastic coated paper milk cartons 5 years
- Plastic bags 10 to 20 years
- Leather shoes 25 to 40 years
- Nylon fabric 30 to 40 years
- Tin cans 50 to 100 years
- Aluminum cans 80 to 100 years
- Plastic 6-pack holder rings 450 years
- Glass bottles 1 million years
- Plastic bottles Forever

The mental set of the average Malaysian needs changing; we need better education and understanding of the affects of our litter bug nature.

Waterfalls are beautiful but extremely DANGEROUS. Only attempt with experience guides. Take Nothing but Photographs, Leave Nothing but Footprints