Currently all around the world, about 1.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid wastes are annually generated and expected to increase to approximately 2.2 billion tonnes a year by 2025. As for the shipping industry, as much as 75%of solid waste is incinerated on board, and the ash typically is discharged at sea, although some are brought ashore for disposal or recycling. In view of such scenarios and the environmental impacts associated with waste disposal, at MISC we remain committed in ensuring our diligence towards waste management.
MISC pursues active efforts to reduce, recycle and recover our hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. Overall generation of wastes from our vessels (excluding cargo residues) reduced by 13% in 2018 compared to 2017 which equates to 923m3 less garbage generated.
Waste minimisation programmes include initiatives introduced to substitute cotton rags with recyclable absorbent paper, the introduction of electronic manuals, the purchase of provisions in bigger volume to reduce packaging, and where possible the return of plastic wrappings to suppliers.
Efforts to reduce waste generation were also extended to meetings and events organised by MISC. Effective from 1 October 2018, disposable plastic drinking bottles were no longer allowed, except for events where safe drinking water supply was not available or was insufficient. These events include meetings, training and conferences held externally. In these circumstances, staff are required to make arrangements for the venue provider to serve water in pitchers or water dispensers.
Our Marine and Heavy Engineering segment continued to work with local universities to assess alternative environmental friendly solutions to manage spent garnet generated from blasting operations. In 2018, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia carried out research on the feasibility of using spent garnet as a replacement for asphalt. UniKL researchers investigated the reuse of spent garnet for peat stabilisation.
At our maritime academy in Melaka, the amount of recyclables collected increased by 20% in 2018 compared to the year earlier, following a waste assessment and the addition of recycling bins (also made of recycled materials) at convenient locations. In addition, the academy’s digital work system and digital filing were enhanced to eliminate the need for paper printing of procedures, work permits, reports, and inspection records.
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