Research shows that polystyrene or plastic in layman’s terms takes more than 500 years to degrade in the environment.

It is also harmful to human beings and also animals on land and sea.

It also adds to the landfills all over the country and even the world. If we only play our part in minimising the use of plastic it will go a long way to safeguard Mother Earth.

With this in mind the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) and the Malaysia Hindu Sangam Bukit Bendera call on all temples in the country not to serve polystyrene food containers in their temple surroundings this Thaipusam for serving food.

Present at a press conference to highlight the matter was CAP Education Officer NV Subbarow and A. Tharman, chairman of Malaysia Hindu Sangam Bukit Bendera.

“Polystyrene plates and cups are widely used to serve food and drinks to devotees and due to the lots of polystyrene garbage is thrown all over.

“The chemicals in the polystyrene can migrate into food and can eventually be absorbed into the body,” said Subbarow.

He encouraged devotees to play their part and bring their own containers to receive food and drinks.

“We also encourage temple management to be firm with the various stall owners and impose strict rules to refrain them from using polystyrene.

“Although the Penang state government has banned the use of polystyrene, other states have not done so. We also advise the public not to waste food which is given away during the festival.

“Take only what is needed and required,” called Subbarow.