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Recycling: UiTM Mechanical Engineering Students Making A Green Contribution

Recycling: UiTM Mechanical Engineering Students Making A Green Contribution

The students have been experimenting with recycled plastic to make furniture, key chains, interior lighting and decoration items.

Fernando Fong

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Plastic wastes destined for landfill have now found a second life in the hands of engineering students from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

UiTM’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering has collaborated with Pertubuhan Kebajikan Komuniti Dan Mesra Alam (PEKMA) to turn plastic waste into everyday products.

The faculty’s assistant professor NV David said the students are exposed to many technical aspects of recycling plastics as part of the collaboration.

These include moulding technics, segregation and identification.

The most common method of moulding plastics is injection moulding (IM), which injects molten thermoplastic into a mould.

Our mechanical engineering students are well positioned, and we can present solutions that enable the resource-friendly manufacture of plastics and recycling.

UiTM assistant professor NV David to TRP on joint development of plastic recycling between the industries and academia.

David, a Fulbright scholar, stressed what’s important is recognising the fact that plastics have value even beyond the useful life of their first application.

UiTM assistant professor from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, NV David (centre), with his students and members of PEKMA. (Pix: PEKMA)

Recycling Helps Everyone

PEKMA president CL Tan said learning about recycling means that people are more likely to adopt it as a habit, helping to make them conscientious adults.

He said this would encourage students to implement their recycling tactics in their everyday life, helping to tackle the waste they produce at home.

Recently they had a joint seminar called Trash To Treasure initiated by the students from UiTM and with the help of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.

We want to raise awareness and promote the idea of turning neglected plastic bottles into useable products.

PEKMA president CL Tan to TRP on motivting the public to do recycling.

Tan said PEKMA, which included members from the recycling industry, also aims to provide a greener path for existing plastic waste in the country.

Plastic recycling can support local women with job opportunities that offer flexible working hours and promote work-life balance.

Essentially, the goals align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), consisting of 17 and 169 targets to eradicate poverty and realize a sustainable world.

SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) includes targets focused on environmentally sound management of all waste through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse and reduction of food waste.

PEKMA president CL Tan to TRPon the SDG goals related to recycling.

Most Malaysians need to be aware of the high commodity value of the rubbish they generate. 

Their ignorance is reflected in the nation’s recycling rate, which stood at around 31.52 per cent in 2021.

The low percentage is despite campaigns by the government to encourage the public to practice the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle.


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