AS WITH EVERY ACTIVITY, this society began as a tiny seed that is still now in the process of growing into a strong, healthy and virile tree. Twelve years ago, I was made aware of the crisis created by the plastic shopping bag. I decided to do something about this problem and this eventually led to the creation of the ‘go-go-green’ society. Our main objective is to create a plastic free Sarawak by 2020.
The general public have very little awareness of the huge health problems associated with the plastic shopping bag which include Cancer, Heart and Hypertension Issues, Diabetes, Poor Re-productivity and Children’s Learning Difficulties, (all these claims supported by a document published by the highly prestigious scientific publishing house, ‘The Royal Society’) Our society’s strategy is to create awareness of the dangers associated with this item. With this in mind, our campaign encourages shoppers to bring their own shopping bag with the slogan –
Eventually, it was decided to register this very active society with the Registrar of Society’s. This meant that we had to form a committee in spite of my protests at the very concept of committees.
It was decided to have regular weekly events in Kuching Shopping Malls . This activity has been a regular week-end feature in Kuching and district Shopping Malls for the past 5 Years. More recently, we have ventured into rural Malls where we can reach out to a new set of people
We also conduct mini seminars to interested groups from family sizes to audiences of many hundreds.
"It's All About What We Cannot See!" is a 32 page booklet available in English and Bahasa."
To further spread the knowledge about the harm created by the plastic shopping bag, we give regular talks, power-point presentations and work-shops in all the above education establishments.
Success for this type of campaign is very slow but encouragement can be seen with more and more people carrying their own shopping bags plus positive action is being taken by DBKU in Kuching, Samarahan Municipal Council, Bau District Council, Sibu Municipal Council plus a directive from the Ministry of Local Government to all local authorities to follow a plastic free programme. This follows a meeting we had last year with YB Professor Dr. Sim, The Minister of Local Government and Housing.
Ian M. Carter is the founder of and adviser to the ‘go-go-green’ society. THE ‘GO-GO-GREEN’ SOCIETY was registered as a fully fledged NGO on 26th July 2013 with the registration reference PPM-001-13-26072013.