Used face masks, sanitiser bottles end up in rivers

The Covid-19 pandemic seems to have created a new problem – dumping of face masks and hand sanitiser bottles in our rivers.

While river pollution has generally improved, the company tasked to rejuvenate Klang River has highlighted the increase of “new rubbish” related to the pandemic.

“Since last month, we have seen an increase of this new rubbish in our rivers,” said Landasan Lumayan Sdn Bhd (LLSB) managing director Syaiful Azmen Nordin.

“This is in addition to disposable food packaging, beverage cartons and packaging and plastic bottles which are a common sight on any day.”

The Movement Control Order (MCO) kicked in on March 18. Despite Malaysians being confined in their homes, such items end up in the rivers because they are not discarded properly.

Rubbish collected from the Klang River.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and a detailed report will be released later this month,” Syaiful added.

While items like face masks and santisers are deemed necessary for personal safety and hygiene, people need to dispose of the items properly.

Syaiful stressed that such items should be thrown into bins and not discarded indiscriminately, where they end up in drains that eventually flow into rivers.

As such, LLSB – the master developer of key activities to rejuvenate Klang River – has issued a challenge to those staying at home to put their artistic skills to the test in the SMG Water You Doing? comic strip contest.

The company hopes the contest will remind Malaysians the importance of keeping rivers healthy and clean.

Participants are required to post their comic strip submission on their Instagram account with the hashtag #SMGWaterYouDoing before April 22. Entries can be hand-drawn or digitally created in colour or black and white within one to five frames.

LLSB is rewarding popular comic strips with cash prizes of RM2,000 (1st), RM1,000 (2nd) and RM500 (3rd), as well as 10 consolation prizes of RM100 each.

For more info, visit Selangor Maritime Gateway’s website or Instagram account.