Whether it’s the state government-imposed 20-cent plastic bag charge or your neighbourhood coffee shop only bringing in compostable straws, Malaysians have subconsciously embraced a more planet-friendly, greener lifestyle. For many, composting is a pretty cool practice and thrifting has become a favourite pastime, but as for your day-to-day, how easy is it to actually contribute to less waste? How do we, as individuals, reduce the amount of waste that gets sent to landfills?
One way we could do so is by opting for a zero-waste lifestyle. According to Zero Waste Malaysia, Malaysia produces 38 million kg of waste each day, which is incidentally enough to fill up the Petronas Twin Towers every 7 days.
Sat in the heart of Subang Jaya lies Minimize Zero Waste Store, Subang’s very first zero-waste store. It sits in SS14, the less busy area of Subang, which is just five minutes from the ever-popular SS15 and across the street from SS18 LRT station. With a bold, beautifully-lit sign, it’s not difficult to spot it from a distance.
Minimize was founded by Jayne Lee and Tan Pei Yen. Before deciding to open the business in October 2021, Jayne and Pei Yen were actively selling their homemade kombucha online. That experience helped build the foundation in understanding how comfortable Malaysians were with the circular economy through the recycling of glass bottles for cashback rewards.
Jayne gained interest in zero-waste years ago following the charges for plastic bags and the great number of discourses on plastic straws. From then on, she became attentive to the impacts of her daily consumption.
Minimize offers a wide range of products from pantry needs and hygiene tools to gardening supplies and even snacks for your furry friends.
Minimize sells their very own natural loofahs, made of a gourd from the cucumber family. This natural alternative is 100% compostable and biodegradable compared to its synthetic counterpart, which is typically made of nylon.
There is also a dedicated section for bulk foods offering a wide range of selections. There are the more common ones like granola and roasted nuts, but also less common ones such as buckwheat ramen, dried fruits, spaghetti and even shiitake mushrooms.
Besides food, there are also other refillable items available for purchase such as laundry detergent, scented or unscented shampoos, and multipurpose cleaners. Products such as menstrual cups, bamboo toothbrushes, gua sha, silicone baby bibs and face masks are available as well.
At Minimize, they encourage customers to BYOC (Bring Your Own Containers). However, if they’ve left their bottles at home, Minimize provides reusable containers for free. This could be anything from ice cream containers to pasta sauce jars for you to safely ferry your new supplies home.
To purchase the bulk goods, simply bring your container to the weighing station, where they’ll offset the container’s weight before filling them up to your desired weight.
Used cooking oil can also be brought in and sold at Minimize as they pay customers RM1.50 for every kilogram of oil. They work with a company that helps convert it into biodiesel.
Other than the variety of products that they supply, Minimize also brings in items from other homegrown brands wherever possible. Customers can purchase beauty oils from The Mineraw, naturally-dyed t-shirts from TwoFriends.co, gula melaka peanut butter from Staples, plant kits from Poptanical and more.
They also carry a variety of yummy scented products like fragrances from Alwis & Xavier, soaps from Kindersoap and scented candles from Wick’d & Glow.
There is also a Zero Waste Starter Pack available containing a handful of items like an unbleached loofah, bamboo toothbrushes, and recycled plastic coasted.
If you want to live a greener lifestyle, start by making conscious decisions that reduce waste in your daily life. Taking small steps each day would make it a more seamless transition. That could be anything from reusing the resources you already have, to buying fewer single-use products.
Minimize is a great store to visit for a fuss-free zero-waste shopping experience especially because they offer such a wide range of products. Just remember to BYOC or otherwise, feel free to shop online via Shopee, Lazada or their website. Subang Jaya folks can contact them straight as they may be entitled to free delivery!