You probably know by now that Zero Waste Malaysia (ZWM) is one of the fastest growing non-profit organisations in Malaysia with a large following both offline and online.
So what sparked this idea and why did it manifest in such a way that it grew to be as big as they are today and how did it even began? We sat down with the Co-Founder and CEO of Zero Waste Malaysia, Sue Yee Khor and asked her about her inspiration behind the movement and her thoughts on how local Malaysians can also contribute to big changes in the smallest ways.
The first thing we asked her was what is ZWM, what do they do and how they do it. The answer is rather simple, yet it’s apt and very telling that she wants to make a change in more ways than one. So, what is ZWM? It essentially is a non-profit organisation that was started back in 2016 by a group of like-minded people aiming to create awareness on sustainable living.
What started out as a small Facebook group to teach and create a local community around zero waste lifestyle in Malaysia has now grown to become a behemoth platform with a base of almost 30,000 people. The large interest generated on Facebook alone is most likely attributed to the pressing waste issue in our country. No joke, it’s a big problem indeed.
On the ZWM website there is a map, not just any other map, but a specialised map focused on zero waste facilities crowd-sourced by the community after many recommendations. The map was first started because no one knew where to buy package-less products or refill their materials. The data from the many recommended stores were then changed into pins on a Google maps application. It is done so that anyone can simply log on and look for the nearest store that caters to their zero waste needs. The map is updated every time a company opens their doors and that subscribes to the ethos of zero waste. The map has advanced functions that actually has a system of categorising businesses; a 10-category system covers everything, from bulk-buys to community composting.