Name of the submitted project or idea (in English or both English and your language)
Trash Encyclopedia ("Trashpedia")
URL of a video introducing the work（under 5 minutes）
Detailed explanation of the submitted project or idea (in English or both English and your language)
This Trash Encyclopedia first came about to address the local misconceptions about recycling - that many things in Malaysia can be recycled, are recycled and don't go to the landfills. This platform focused on education from the perspective of recyclables as that's more prominent amongst Malaysians. Once readers have understood the properties of each common household item and whether or not they are widely recycled locally, the platform encourages sustainable alternatives. For example, swapping from a plastic bottle to a reusable one.
An additional tool called the Zero Waste Map also allows readers to pinpoint their nearest recycling collection or drop-off points (across Malaysia). It is also integrated with other zero waste services such as categories for repair services, package-free shopping, thrift stores, zero waste pet care and more!
The upgraded version to be launched by end of October will feature this platform in 3 other main Malaysian languages - a combined 4 languages (English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin & Tamil) to be as inclusive to all Malaysians as possible.
To date, the website has received over 12,000 users across Malaysia and even overseas! We have received testimonials and feedback of its effectiveness in spreading knowledge about recycling and everything needed to try out some zero waste living actions.
The ultimate goal and hope for this platform is to be give everyone the education and knowledge needed to understand the importance of reducing waste and taking action at the individual level.
#zerowaste #sustainable #recycling
If you have a website for your submitted project or idea, please provide the URL
Special Prize Question 1: How does your project or idea make use of local resources, such as materials and knowledge, to tackle its challenge?
The Trashpedia is based heavily on the local context - from its development phase to the target users. This is a platform made for Malaysians based on what is currently happening in the market.
We consulted with various local recyclers to learn about each trash item's recyclability and how commonly it is recycled to make sure the information delivered was up to date. The knowledge was also shared amongst other stakeholders in this field. The entire project is taking a group of volunteers, designers, web developers, translators who are all local and onboard to support this vision and we owe them our gratitude and thanks.
One key challenge about sustainability in Malaysia is also the lack of resources available - especially in various languages as we are a multicultural nation. We have made it a commitment to try and translate as many of our resources (aside from this platform, we've translated handbooks as well), to ensure everyone has a fair and equal chance of understanding the content.
Focusing on easy to read visuals, simplified text are amongst other optimisation considerations that the team has gone through to make sure zero waste can be understood easily. The items on this platform are also common Malaysian household products that we often see pop up in our Facebook Community Group of over 42,000 people. These items are frequently mentioned on that group with people asking if it is recyclable, how to swap to an alternative, and the likes.
Special Prize Question 2: How does your project or idea sustain its activities through the involvement of the local community?
The Trashpedia is part of an ecosystem of resources built by Zero Waste Malaysia. There is also a Zero Waste Map, topic-specific handbooks, lesson plans and content which support the overall journey of an individual wanting to be more sustainable.
As our organisation has always started from and with the community, we have been doing multiple community events and outreach to educate Malaysians on how they can use this resource, to support their own journeys. We have had market days, booth appearances and hosted our third Zero Waste Festival. Aside from that, we have an ongoing 30 Day Zero Waste Challenge (virtually) which utilises this resources to guide participants throughout various zero waste activities.
Through this virtual challenge, we also try to highlight some local communities which support the movement like local repairmen, zero waste stores, and everyday heroes! The Trashpedia tool has brought together many communities and that is shown through our testimonials. One zero waste store was kind enough to place a QR code to the resource in their own stores as they understand, consumers need to learn about zero waste to practice it!
Special Prize Question 3: How does your project or idea eliminate waste or pollution while regenerating natural resources?
The Trashpedia is an educational platform. We believe it is important for people to not just eliminate or reduce waste, but to understand the reality behind the situation and why it is imperative to take immediate action.
This resource comes from the perspective that recycling is not a solution but simply part of the process. In Malaysia, there are a number of reasons why recyclables are not 100% recycled - contamination, complexity, low profitability, etc. The reality that we discovered from a public survey is that most Malaysians do not understand the trash we produce - what it's made from, is it truly recyclable.
And without that knowledge, how are they expected to 'want' to reduce waste? By sharing simple facts such as the true recyclability of a coffee paper cup, we inspire individuals to take a further step in swapping to reusable solutions which prevent waste generation at the very first place. By creating this community of sustainable individuals, we hope that the market for package free and low waste solutions will also increase.
The Zero Waste Map also encourages local stores and communities to pin their organisations so that the public can find them easily. This map is updated monthly based on public nominations so that there are growing resources on how people can start to reduce waste in all areas of their life.