5 things to do at Malaysia's second Zero Waste Fest

The festival's second instalment is bigger, and targets a regional audience that includes organisations, restaurants and education institutions.

Tak Nak Straw hosted a mini exhibition to encourage people to refuse single use straws at the 2017 Zero Waste Festival (Photo: Teck Seng Lim/Zero Waste Malaysia)

The first Zero Waste Festival in 2017 saw a gathering of 15 vendors, selling more than 100 zero waste-related products, which can be reused many times over, at Slate @ The Row. Back for the second edition this year, the festival will be hosting representatives from zero waste movement groups from Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia to shed light on the initiative happening in their countries so we could learn better from them.

The non-profit Zero Waste Malaysia was founded by Aurora Tin and Khor Sue Yee in 2016 and has been offering Malaysians local alternative resources through their increasingly popular Facebook group.

“Through our specially curated zero-waste market, exhibition, workshops and talks, participants can get a better idea of the concept and bring it back to their communities, workplace and homes,” shares Tin.

The first Zero Waste Festival in 2017 saw an intimate gathering of 15 vendors (Photo: Zero Waste Malaysia)

If the event two years ago encouraged people to practise zero-waste lifestyle on an individual level, this year’s festival will rope in successful panellists and speakers from established companies to work towards a larger-scale sustainable management. Zero-waste organisations, advocates and industry leaders will convene at the art-centric LINC KL mall from June 22 to 23 to raise awareness via talks, forums and workshops.

Additionally, festival-goers can participate in the Zero Waste Mini Exhibition and Solution Showcase, where you can purchase environmentally friendly products and learn more about sustainable alternatives. Here are five discussions to get you started. 


Sustainable Business Forum (June 22)
Spice Garden at The LINC KL, 10am-12pm. RM35. 

Achieving sustainability goals, especially for large and diverse establishments, can be a challenging task as an intricate mix of economic, social and environmental factors need to be taken into consideration. In this forum, prominent sustainability representatives from different corporate sectors — from hotel management to F&B — will be revealing fresh perspectives on implementing realistic and practical actions in the workplace based on their experiences, while taking into consideration the needs of local business communities.

Moderated by virologist Dr Lyana Khairuddin, the conference will feature senior software engineer Tan Chun Kiat from Exact, general manager Doris Chin from Element KL, brand manager Valerie Tan from Ăn Viet, co-founder Nik Suzila binti Nik Hassan of Kloth Cares and founder Ong Ning-Geng (pictured) of Chocolate Concierge.

Chocolate Concierge's cacao beans are traceable, environmentally sensitive, and sustainable


Regional Zero Waste Movement Forum (June 22)
Spice Garden at The LINC KL, 3-5pm. RM35.

Curious about how other countries are adapting to the zero-waste lifestyle? This forum invites four panellists from various Southeast Asia regions for a discussion on the local challenges they face. Aurora Tin from Zero Waste Malaysia, Michael Burdge from Zero Waste Saigon, Maurilla Sophianti Imron from Zero Waste Indonesia and Sarah Rhodes from Plastic Free Cambodia will share the progress made in their respective countries and what needs to be done to kick-start the zero-waste movement across Southeast Asia.

The representatives will also share their personal zero-waste journey and give tips on how to maintain a sustainable lifestyle. Moderated by aspiring environmental lawyer Amalina Ariffin, the forum serves to advocate the zero-waste movement and inspire the public to create a bigger impact.


Zero Waste Lifestyle Forum (June 23)
The LINC KL, 11am-1pm.

For those who have always lived by the 3 ‘Rs’ (i.e ‘Reduce’, ‘Reuse’ and ‘Recycle’), you should now add another ‘R’ to the famous mantra: ‘Refuse’. The practice of zero-waste lifestyle is more than just storing food in trendy mason jars, abandoning our dependency on plastic or recycling goods we no longer need – it’s a way of life dedicated to cultivating meaningful experiences and prioritising environmental sustainability.

This forum is perfect for the uninitiated to jump-start their zero-waste journey, from living and working to travelling. Moderated by Jasmine Tuan (pictured), founder of Rent My Wardrobe KL, the talk will feature panellists from different backgrounds including freelance creative writer Brent Taalur Ramsey, environmental consultant Smita Jairam and the youngest speaker of the festival, Yara Kerschot.

Jasmine Tuan of Rent My Wardrobe KL will moderate the lifestyle forum (Photo: Jasmine Tuan)

Introduction to Open Source and Circular Economy (June 23)
The LINC KL, 2.15-2.45pm. 

A circular economy promotes a sustainable future without waste, where every product is designed for multiple cycles or use. A majority of organisations tends to focus on their own in-house solutions to combat waste but speaker and architecture graduate Nicholas Sheum (pictured) – also head of design for social enterprise Biji-biji initiative who works in close proximity with ME.REKA Makerspace – urges different industries to work together to build an economy that feeds back in a circular fashion. Learn how to minimise waste and maximise resources at this Open Source Circular Economy talk that seeks to challenge the status quo.

Nicholas Sheum from Biji-biji initiative will share his knowledge on a sustainable circular economy (Photo: Nicholas Sheum)


Feeding Future Cities (June 23)
The LINC KL, 4.30-5pm. 

The severity of global environmental threats such as climate change, depleting natural resources and mounting consumer waste has been a widespread conversational topic, especially in recent years, sparking concerns for the world’s most polluting sectors.

Having spent the last 20 years in the food service and hospitality industry, Steve Fernandez has observed the massive amount of generated waste in the food supply chain. Passionate about sustainable design innovation, he will highlight how the circular economy and zero-waste innovations are currently being developed within the F&B industry to redefine and reshape the entire system, particularly in production, packaging and transportation. Fernandez will also impart his knowledge on sustainable solutions for local F&B industries.


#zwmfest2019 It’s estimated that by 2050 two-thirds of the world’s 10 billion inhabitants will be living in cities placing even greater strain on the global agricultural industry. . However, new innovations and technological disruptions spurred on by the growing threats of climate change, depleting natural resources, and mounting consumer waste are coming online to help rethink and redesign entire systems surrounding the food industry. . Feeding Future Cities will highlight how the circular economy and zero-waste innovations are currently being developed within the F&B industry that will help to redefine and reshape how we produce, package and transport the food that will be Feeding Future Cities. Speaker Steve Fernandez has spent over 20 years in the Food Service & Hospitality industries helping to manage and open a slew of restaurants and bars before becoming the Category Manager and creative lead for the New York City based luxury fine-food retailer Dean & Deluca in Bangkok, Thailand. His passion for sustainable design innovation backed with professional insights served as the inspiration for his master’s thesis that aimed at finding a solution for the problems single-use disposable plastic pose within the food service industry, particularly within the realm of food delivery. Steve plans to share his sustainable solutions and circular economic insights to help inspire and inform the ever growing Zero Waste Community as to how we can collectively reimagine, redesign, and feed more sustainable cities of the future. Feeding Future Cities Talk Details Venue: @thelinckl Date: 23rd June 2019 (Sunday) Time: 4:30pm - 5:00pm Talks at Malaysia's 2nd Zero Waste Fest are open to public for free. Seats are limited. Sign up to confirm your spot before it's full! . Tickets link here: https://zerowastemalaysia.peatix.com/ . .

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For the full schedule, check out Zero Waste Malaysia's Facebook page. Buy tickets here


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