Championing a sustainable environment through advocating for the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has the Sunway Education Group initiating #The LastStraw campaign recently. Working with Sunway University campus vendors in Sunway City, the community of students, staff and lecturers have come together to voice their support for protecting the world’s oceans from plastic pollution.
Plastic containers, bottles, cups, cutlery, straws and other non-biodegradable plastics has become such an indispensable part of modern day life that it now threatens the existence of the oceans of the world. Part of the Sunway Education Group Smart Sustainable Campus efforts to drive awareness for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), #The LastStraw campaign actively seeks to address UNSDG Number 14: Life Below Water and has committed to stop selling plastic water bottles on campus from July 13 onwards. Additional water dispensers have also been added onto campus grounds to advance #The LastStraw campaign.
Inviting General Manager at Aquaria KLCC Daryl Foong, to share the how-tos of marine conservation through the lenses of managing Aquaria KLCC, #The LastStraw campaign is about initiating positive change with a simple act of saying NO to all disposable plastics or single use plastics.
With the Great Pacific Garbage Patch acting as proof that plastic is the number one source of pollution in the ocean, the urgency to significantly reduce this unsustainable dynamic has gained momentum as the likelihood of having more plastic than fish in the ocean is becoming a reality. The acting Ambassador of the Sunway Education Group Smart Sustainable Campus, Senior Executive Director of Sunway Education Group and Sunway University Dr Elizabeth Lee encourages all to do their bit to reduce ocean litter through simple gestures like saying NO to plastic straws or switching to metal or bio-degradable straws or opt for your own mugs or re-usable water tumblers.
By discouraging the use of disposable plastics (or single-use plastics) such as containers, bottles, cups, cutlery and straws on campus, #The LastStraw campaign is but one of the many initiatives carried out which champions sustainability as part of the Sunway Education Group Smart Sustainable Campus. Some of the other ongoing sustainable initiatives include the yearly ‘GreenThink!’ campaign by IT Services, the rain water harvesting and Energy Saving Movement by Facilities Management, ‘Scrap-the-Styro’ and ‘Pay for Your Plastic Bag’ campaigns on campus.
On the academic front, the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development in Sunway University was established in December 2016 to work on advancing the seventeen SDG goals plus curate the world’s best curriculum, academic and executive programmes on sustainable development.
With each member of the community playing a role in reducing the use of plastics and adopting more effective recycling, the Sunway Education Group Smart Sustainable Campus hopes to assist the world in achieving its target of preventing and significantly reducing marine pollution by year 2025 whilst championing sustainability for future generations.
Dr Elizabeth Lee (centre in red blouse), Daryl Foong and Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Vice-Chancellor of Sunway University together with Sunway campus food vendors who pledged their support of the #The LastStraw campaign
(from left) Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Daryl Foong and Dr Elizabeth Lee pose for a photo after filling their re-usable water tumblers with Samson and Sophia, Sunway University’s mascots