UUM ONLINE: Foodabox project developed by nine students from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) emerged winner for a Hope Award under Environmental Conservation and Sustainability Category at International Conference for Young Leaders 2015 (ICYL) held at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), recently.
The award was presented by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to the representative of the Foodabox project team who was also the co-founder, Dick Lim Yew Teck.
Foodabox project was placed under Co-operative and Entrepreneurship Development Institute (CEDI) of UUM under the supervision of Deputy Director of CEDI, Dr. Norashidah Hashim.
With its apt theme this year “Changing Communities through Social Entrepreneurship”, the ICYL was held to encourage more youths to venture into social entrepreneurship and help to bring about a lasting positive impact on society. As Malaysia is moving towards becoming a high-income income nation, social entrepreneurship will be the key to creating an economy that is based on knowledge and innovation.
According to Dick Lim, a student of College of Business (COB) UUM, the Foodabox project was invented after they found out almost every 10 seconds there were approximately 300,000 kilograms (kg) of polystyrene food containers disposed to cause a threat to the environment.
"The Foodabox project focuses on creating a sustainable environment by replacing the harmful polystyrene boxes with cheaper eco-friendly food boxes in campus.
"Furthermore, Foodabox allows individuals or companies to place their advertisements on the eco-friendly food boxes, directly reducing the costs of the eco-friendly food packaging. These boxes are then being sold to the food operators at a very low cost, encouraging more food operator to adopt the environmentally friendly business practices," he said.
He added that the Foodabox project also helped single mothers who do not work to supply and distribute the bio-degradable food boxes and helped them to generate additional income up to RM 2,000.
"We believe everyone has the potential to make changes in order to build and create a sustainable future for generations to come.
"After this, through CEDI, we plan to patent our product and make it as a ‘trademark’ of this business," he said.
The other eight members involved in this project were Low Huey Theng, Goay Hui Sian, Yap Wei Huan, Woi Keat Yee, Nur Nabilah Mansor, Tan Khai Shi, Tan Wei Chit and Ng Shu Kae.
Some 300 participants from 10 countries attended the three-day event. Also present were Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and his deputy Datuk M Saravanan, as well as Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
Six other categories of Hope Awards were Education and Employability (won by Arus Academy); Civic Action and Human Rights (won by Al-Hikmah); Arts, Culture and Heritage (won by JOHO); Less is More (won by Region of Love); Poverty Alleviation (won by Chow Kit Youths) and Youth Friendly (won by DHL IT Services).
Translated by Nurul Nazifah Mat Noh
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