Malaysia hosts ISWA World Congress 2018

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The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) World Congress 2018 officially kicked off today at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Hosted for the first time in Malaysia, the three-day congress is jointly organised by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and the Waste Management Association of Malaysia (WMAM) with the support of the Malaysian Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia and the Malaysian Convention and Exhibition Bureau.

Themed Sustainable Consumption towards Waste Minimization, the world’s premier event on solid waste management was officiated by YBM Senator Dato’ Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Ibni Raja Ahmad Baharuddin Shah, Deputy Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government in an opening ceremony attended by over 1,500 delegates from across the globe. In his speech, YBM Senator Dato’ Raja Kamarul lauded the move to host the event in Malaysia, noting that it was a timely move given that Malaysia is taking proactive measures to reduce non-recyclable wastes such as plastic, as well as looking into measures for effective waste management.

“With a population of over 32 million, Malaysia generates about 38,00 metric tonnes of waste daily. Out of this huge amount, waste separation and recycle rate is only at 24% while the remaining 76% goes to the landfill. This rate is considerably low when compared to countries like Singapore and Hong Kong which records a 70% recycling rate,” he added.

From its inception in 1972, the ISWA World Congress has served as a platform for professionals meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for sustainable solid waste management. Apart from being a first-time host, Malaysia is also the fourth Asian country to host the annual congress – the last being South Korea in 2011.

Mr. Antonis Mavropoulos, President of ISWA, said, “China’s ban on imported plastics and Marine Litter Watch have impacted our relationship with plastics and shifts towards Circular Business Economy models. These key topics will be the highlight on ISWA WC 2018 as well as how artificial intelligence (AI) can reshape the waste sector. AI has already put its footprint in waste collection and robotic recycling – through the IoT, AI will create a whole new world for waste prevention, longer product life-cycles and the application of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in global supply chains.”

Some of the key highlights at the ISWA World Congress 2018 include:

  • New Plastics Economy – a discussion the initiatives and actions that can be taken to reduce plastic waste, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) New Plastic Economy (NPEC) initiative and the collaboration with UN Environment to form a coalition – The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment
  • Women of Waste Session – Women of Waste (WOW) was created by women in the waste management industry and is supported by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) to advocate and spotlight women’s work and achievement in the waste sector, and thereby offers a complementary perspective to the UN IETC project work. Most recently WOW conducted the first global survey of women working in the waste sector.
  • IMM: Mayors & Municipalities Roundtable Discussion – ISWA’s Initiative for Mayors and Municipalities, the platform for disseminating know-how and best practices in waste to decision makers” is part of ISWA’s mission is to promote and develop sustainable waste management worldwide, to create a cleaner-healthier planet. To achieve this, ISWA’s know-how and best practices need to be accessible to decision makers and those who influence policy on local, regional and national levels.

Mr. Ho De Leong, Chairman of WMAM said, “We are truly proud to be able to host such a prestigious event, and to bring it back to Asia where we see growing involvement and commitment to resolve global environmental and waste management issues. With many Asian countries taking a firmer stance to reduce non-recyclable waste, we can see opportunities to improve local practice and improve the quality of life, not to mention a platform to network and build partnerships in Asia.”

The ISWA World Congress will be held from 22 to 24 October 2018 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Sponsors for the event include Sulomas Sdn.Bhd, SWM Environment Sdn.Bhd.,Alam Flora Sdn Bhd, SSI Schafer SUEZ, Veolia, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation.

For more information, please visit www.iswa2018.org.