One in five Malaysians use plastic straws daily
March 13th, 2019, Kim Ho

One in five Malaysians use plastic straws daily

Malaysians think government has the biggest role to play in reducing plastic waste

Malaysia is ranked the eighth worst country in the world for plastic use, and latest YouGov research shows that Malaysians are still big consumers of single-use plastic, with one in five (22%) using plastic straws daily.

One in ten (10%) Malaysians admit to using plastic straws several times a day, and one in eight (12%) use them once a day. Three in ten (31%) use them several times a week, and one in eight (13%) use them once a week. Only 4% of Malaysians never use plastic straws.


Although plastic straw use is high, a quarter (25%) of Malaysians own reusable ones. Those aged 35 to 44 are most likely to do so while those aged 55+ are the least likely (31% vs 15%). Similarly, those without a university degree are also more likely than those without one to own one (29% vs 20%).

The most popular reason for not owning a reusable straw is people not knowing where to get one (35%). This is followed by people not seeing the need to use a reusable straw (32%), and finding it inconvenient to carry one around (27%).

Straws aren’t the only types of single-use plastic. About a quarter (24%) of Malaysians also use single-use plastic bags at least once a day. When making a purchase only two in ten (21%) ask for no bag while two thirds (67%) sometimes refuse one while one in eight (12%) always take a plastic bag with their purchase.

Overall, the majority (91%) of Malaysians agree that it is important to conserve the environment, with six in ten (59%) thinking it very important, while a third (32%) say it is somewhat important. The remaining one in ten (9%) don’t think it is important.

Malaysians believe that the government have the biggest role to play in conserving the environment (44%), followed by consumers (37%), NGOs (10%) and businesses (9%).

Jake Gammon, Head of YouGov Omnibus APAC commented: “While most Malaysians believe that conserving the environment is important, our data shows that many are still heavily relying on single-use plastics on a daily basis. Many Malaysians will be looking to the government to reduce plastic waste, and conserve the environment as a whole.”