Environmental Policy

DAP to stay out of Lynas PSC

Posted on March 19, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Policy |

The Malaysian Insider–

By Clara Chooi

March 19, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — The DAP will abstain from participating in the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on the Lynas issue, its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today, calling the panel a “sham”.

He charged that the PSC, expected to be proposed in Parliament tomorrow, was the Najib administration’s way of legitimising the controversial Lynas Corporation plant, which activists claim would be an environmental hazard.

“DAP will not participate in a sham PSC which serves to deliver a ‘fait accompli’ by endorsing the Lynas plant and forcing public acceptance without any due regard for safety, environmental and health concerns,” Lim (picture) said in a media statement here.

The Cabinet agreed last week for form a bipartisan PSC to look into the Lynas controversy but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak irked the project’s detractors when he said on Saturday the panel’s purpose was not to decide on the fate of the plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.

Instead, Najib had said the PSC was part of Putrajaya’s engagement process to ensure the public understood the issues at hand.

“It has to do with the process of engagement with the people and for them (the select committee) to look at all aspects of the project, especially the safety factor and any possible threats to health,” he told reporters in Ipoh.

Today, Lim said this implied the panel’s conclusion was already predetermined.

“In other words, this whole exercise is merely to help the project gain acceptance and to help the BN government convince Malaysians that there is no threat from the Lynas rare earth plant and its potentially hazardous radioactive waste,” Lim said.

Given that the PSC is unlikely to decide the fate of the Lynas plant, Lim said it would be a “complete waste of time” for DAP to participate in it.

Lim also urged other Pakatan Rakyat (PR) component parties to join DAP in abstaining from joining the PSC.

“We should not be used as tools in the BN’s bid to fool the people and to justify the setting up of the Lynas rare earth plant,” he said.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said on Saturday that the bipartisan panel would comprise nine members — four BN lawmakers, three PR MPs, one independent and with Umno minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin as chairman.

He said the panel would be tasked with getting feedback from stakeholders such as authorities and citizens groups, and deliver its findings within three months.

Thousands of anti-Lynas protestors attended an opposition-backed rally by Himpunan Hijau last month in the largest protest yet against the rare earth plant that is expected to fire up later this year.

Critics of the refinery want Putrajaya to direct the nation’s nuclear regulator to reverse its decision to approve Lynas’s temporary operating licence (TOL), which will let the Australian miner embark on a two-year trial run.

They allege that Lynas has not given enough assurances on how it will handle the low-level radioactive waste that will be produced at the refinery.

The government has been under pressure from groups to shut down the rare earth project over safety fears, but Putrajaya has stood its ground on the project that was first earmarked for Terengganu.

Lynas maintains that waste from the Gebeng plant — which will be the largest rare earth refinery in the world upon completion — will not be hazardous and can be recycled for commercial applications.

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Malaysia Ranked 25th Out Of 132 Countries In Environmental Performance Index 2011

Posted on January 27, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Policy |

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 27 (Bernama) — Malaysia has been ranked 25th out 132 countries in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2011.

It is Malaysia’s best ranking in the index thus far.

Malaysia EPI team head Prof Datuk Dr Zaini Ujang said the rankings, which were announced at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland yesterday, put Malaysia in the same league as high scoring countries like Germany, Iceland, Findland, Denmark, Japan and Belgium.

“Based on this new benchmark, Malaysia showed the best performance among Asean countries and was third best in the Asia-Pacific region after New Zealand and Japan.

“In 2010, Malaysia was ranked 54th out 163 countries with Singapore in 28th place. The city-state dropped to 52nd place last year,” he told reporters here today.

Zaini, who is also Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Vice-Chancellor and chairman of the Malaysian Environmental Council, said the EPI was developed by Yale University and Columbia University in the United States in collaboration with the European Commission and the WEF to evaluate the performance of countries’ environmental management with the two main objectives being environmental wellbeing and pollution control.

He said the EPI also served to create awareness on planning and policymaking by countries so as to ensure targets were set for environmental management and provision of accurate data on it based on 25 indices.

He said among the aspects evaluated were climate change, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and air and water pollution.

“Based on the results released, Malaysia showed very good performance in terms of air pollution scoring 97.3 per cent, agriculture 95 per cent while for biodiversity and habitats it was 90.1 per cent.

“However, Malaysia needs to take proactive steps to improve the indices on climate change and forestry as the score was 28 and 17.4 per cent respectively,” he said.

He added the achievement was the result of the importance placed on environmental matters in the country’s New Economic Model and put Malaysia in a good stead to attract even more investors and tourists.

– BERNAMA

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Malaysia to set up ‘environmental courts’

Posted on January 17, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Policy |

-zeenews.india.com-

Kuala Lumpur: Calling environmental crime a threat to man’s existence, Malaysian authorities have decided to set up “environmental courts”.

“A court dedicated to handling environmental issues was important as 60 per cent of Malaysia was covered in forests,” said Chief Justice Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria, adding there should be an end to the lack of sensitivity to such crimes.

“The judiciary would provide more training to its judges and officers on environmental law,” said Zakaria.

Similar courts and tribunals had been set up in neighbouring countries in tandem with the Johannesburg Principles on the Rule of Law and Sustainable Development, which was adopted by 60 countries, in 2002, he said.

The Johannesburg Principles affirmed that an independent judiciary and judicial process were vital for the implementation, development and enforcement of environmental law, said Zakaria.

He called environmental crime a threat to man’s existence and added that the judiciary needed to be serious in protecting mother earth.

Meanwhile, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia – a national, non-profit organisation that works to conserve nature and the protection of the environment — has welcomed the proposal to set up “environmental courts” in the country, saying it had been a long time advocate for a robust framework to protect the environment.

“The proposed establishment of a specialised court would go a long way in ensuring strict implementation, enforcement and compliance of environmental laws and policies,” said WWF-Malaysia executive director and chief executive officer Dionysius Sharma.

“We are certainly encouraged by Chief Justice Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria’s outlook that environmental issues must be prioritised,” he said.

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Cabinet okays green neighbourhood guidelines to reduce carbon footprint

Posted on November 25, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Policy |

–The Star–

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet has approved a green neighbourhood and low carbon city framework and assessment system, aimed at reducing the nation’s carbon emissions.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung said the guidelines would bring the country a step closer to achieving its goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 40% by 2020, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Copenhagen last year.

“We are going all out to push the guidelines across.

“Studies have shown that urbanisation contributes more than 50% of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Our small cities and townships are getting bigger.

“We need to take action to save our planet,” Chor said after launching The Star Property Fair 2011 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Friday. The fair, which has over 150 booths, is open from 11am to 7pm and ends on Sunday. Entrance is free.

The Government, Chor added, recognised the need to achieve long-term sustainability for growth.

“The Cabinet paper, which was approved this morning, provides Malaysia with a greener environment solution,” he said, adding that it was a joint collaboration between his Ministry and the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry.

The guidelines which would be distributed to local authorities, would promote the 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) and environment-friendly logistics in neighbourhoods, among others, he said.

“We hope developers will help spur green neighbourhoods such as providing more cycling and walking paths to reduce vehicle dependency.

“The guideline is not compulsory but it is not difficult to follow. It will be good business sense to do,” he said, adding that awareness on the importance of recycling was being enhanced.

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Malaysia proposes body to anchor global environment efforts

Posted on October 12, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Policy |

–BERNAMA–

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has proposed to the United Nations to create a World Environment Organisation WEA), to anchor global efforts for the environment.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the proposed body should be consultative and facilitative to assist countries to meet the commitments derived from mutual agreements.

He said only with a major overhaul of the governance system would the world be able to address the challenges of environmental sustainability.

“It has become virtually impossible for developing countries to participate meaningfully. The only countries that cope with the system are the richest countries of the world while the developing nations are becoming disenfranchised.

“A new body like the WEA can help facilitate the participation of developing countries in a more realistic and meaningful way,” he said at the First Preparatory Meeting of the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability here.

Najib’s speech was read out by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

The prime minister said that over the years, the international community had adopted hundreds of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAS), all with their own secretariats and administration.

Between 1992 to 2007, the 18 major MEAs alone convened some 540 meetings which produced over 5,000 decisions that countries were supposed to act upon through national efforts, he added.

Najib said the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability in Brazil on June 4 to 6, next year, would provide a timely opportunity to examine contemporary norms and principles of justice, governance and law in the area of environmental sustainability and the inherent linkages among them. BERNAMA

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Is Najib’s going green just lip service?

Posted on October 11, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Policy |

–Free Malaysia Today–

Najib’s budget has no meaningful incentives to promote and develop green technology in Malaysia, says a green advocate.

KOTA KINABALU: A disappointing Budget 2012 has left green technology enthusiasts in Sabah wondering if Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is truly interested in promoting and developing green technology.

Najib’s decision earlier this year to call off the construction of a proposed coal-fired power plant in Sabah following a widespread public outcry over its effects had given hope that his administration would be more receptive to green technology.

But last Friday’s Budget 2012 announcement has now left them casting doubts on his commitment.

According to Sabah PKR secretary Dr Roland Chia, who is also a greenie, the federal government has failed to take a pragmatic approach to developing the potential of green technology.

He said there has been little development in this area since Najib declared his vision of turning Putrajaya and Cyberjaya into green technology centres.

“All we have is the offer of RM1.5 billion in soft loans for green technology companies and a pledge to reduce Malaysia’s carbon footprint by 40 percent by 2025.

“But since then, there has been no further development in this area.

“What we had was the recently organised massive Green Technology exhibition in September called IGEM hosted by the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry,” he said.

Chia said it was crucial that the country took a pro-active stand in championing the development of green technology and wooing investors to the industry.

“It is crucial that we develop green technology so that the country will have options once fossil fuel gets depleted.

“I just hope that all this talk about green technology is not just mere lip service to the environment,” Chia added.

No incentives

Najib, when attending the 2009 Copenhagen climate change summit, had boldly declared that “Malaysia is adopting an indicator of a voluntary reduction of up to 40 percent in terms of emissions intensity of GDP (gross domestic product) by the year 2020 compared to 2005 levels”.

At the time, he said the National Green Technology Centre had been tasked with formulating a green technology development action plan which would “set standards and promote green technology”.

But in an immediate reaction to Najib’s 2009 declaration, the Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia (Cetdem) director Gurmit Singh had reportedly said that there was “no way” this was achievable.

“No way can we attain this level of reduction by 2020 and Malaysia definitely cannot commit itself to such a claim,” he had said.

Yesterday, Chia in a statement said the Budget 2012 offered no real incentives to encourage householders or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to go green.

“The budget does not offer incentives to households and SMEs to install solar panels to harness energy for their daily consumption.

“This will help the country’s bid to reduce carbon footprint by 40 percent by 2025 against the backdrop of increasing electricity tariffs.

“How can the prime minister hope to achieve reduction of carbon footprint without the support of householders and SMEs?” he asked.

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Learn from Japan, focus on safer energy supply

Posted on March 14, 2011. Filed under: Energy, Environmental Policy |

-Free Malaysia Today-

March 14, 2011

Under Malaysia’s atomic energy law, nuclear plant operators are not liable for any damage resulting from natural disasters, says MP Charles Santiago.

COMMENT

By Charles Santiago

Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Peter Chin yesterday indicated that Malaysia’s plan to build two nuclear power plants will proceed despite the nuclear emergency and meltdown in Japan.

He suggested that the “government will not do it secretly without informing the public”.

The minister’s response comes two days after what is considered as the worst nuclear emergency involving a nuclear power plant since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago.

The tragedy surrounding the March 11 tsunami in Japan also signals a warning about the dangers of nuclear energy. Following the earthquake and tsunami, several Japanese nuclear power plants are in a state of emergency.

The New York Times reported that partial meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reactors and indicated possibilities of a second explosion. Four more reactors are facing serious cooling problems.

Japan declared a nuclear emergency when one reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant Fukushima Daiichi 1, has experienced a partial meltdown and explosion.

Fukushima is one of the 25 largest nuclear power stations in the world.

The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant in Futuba suggests that nuclear plants pose a tremendous risk to the public and environment, even with safety protocols and management expertise designed to handle natural disasters.

Japan has had nearly 60 years of experience with nuclear power, yet there has still been a history of accidents.

In 1999, there was a major accident at Tokaimura where a nuclear fuel-enrichment facility had an out-of-control reaction, leading to radiation leakage affecting hundreds of people and crippling the local agriculture industry.

If a country with as much expertise and experience as Japan can suffer nuclear accidents, then Malaysia should not go nuclear as the risks and costs of failure are too great.

Flood-related disasters

The problem with nuclear power, compared to all other sources of electricity, is that if and when things do go wrong, the consequences are far, far worse. No problem can occur at a solar power plant that can lead to 200,000 residents having to flee for safety beyond a 10 km radius. This is what happened this weekend in Japan as Fukushima went out of control.

The Japanese government has ordered the largest mobilization of their Self-Defense Forces since World War II to assist in the relief effort.

In the Fukushima case, ironically, the earthquake knocked out the station’s own electricity supply, leaving the pumps unable to supply coolant to the reactor. The backup diesel generator was also knocked out by the waters of the tsunami.

A nuclear reactor is like a giant pressurised water boiler. It requires vast quantities of water to cool the reactor, which is why nuclear plants are usually next to rivers or the sea.

However, this leaves them vulnerable to water-related disasters such as tsunamis, floods and storm surges, or even droughts. Location near water also means that any pollution can quickly spread to other areas.

Malaysia sees more than its fair share of flood-related disasters. Any nuclear plant built locally could well suffer a similar problem.

The misfortune at the Fukushima plant has resulted in radiation levels 1,000-times the normal level in the control room and eight times over normal immediately outside.

Experts have already expressed concern that there is a possibility of a hydrogen explosion following further meltdown, and the culture of secrecy prevalent in the local political system – a culture the Barisan Nasional government shares – may make it hard to figure out what has gone wrong.

Japan has already suffered the scandal of the 1995 Monju plant leak that was covered up by the government-linked agency managing it.

Economic cost

Radioactive poisoning of the local population and environment is but one problem. The other is the economic cost of such disasters. Not only could a power plant worth billions be rendered so contaminated as to be useless, a surrounding 20 km area could also be left unfit for human use.

Furthermore, under Malaysia’s atomic energy law, nuclear plant operators are not liable for any damage resulting from natural disasters.

Japan embarked on nuclear energy because they lacked domestic fossil fuel alternatives, and because their industrialisation took place well before renewable energies such as solar power were widely available.

Malaysia has no such excuse as we have oil, gas, biomass, hydro resources, and abundant sunshine; not to mention that we are now set to be the world’s number three producer of solar cells.

April 26 marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. This anniversary and the events in Japan should be a reminder that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Malaysia should exercise wisdom, forgo nuclear, and pursue safer, cleaner and healthier forms of energy supply.

Thus, I call upon minister Peter Chin to abandon all ideas to continue with the nuclear adventure.

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Green Technology And Environment New Fields Under Look East Policy

Posted on March 10, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Policy |

PUTRAJAYA, March 10 (Bernama) – Green technology and environment are new fields that will be introduced under the Look East Policy (LEP), said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

It will breathe new life into LEP by exploring new cooperation with Japan as well as inviting the business comunity to strengthen cooperation to achieve high income economy.

Nazri said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wanted LEP retained as it is the main thrust of bilateral ties between Japan and Malaysia.

“The only thing he asked was for the Japanese government to provide new fields for us to explore.

“With the move, we can send our students for new fields other than engineering,” he told reporters after addressing Japan bound students sponsored by the Public Service Department (PSD) here Thursday.

The brainchild of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, LEP was launched in 1982.

Some 229 students sponsored by PSD this year will take first degree and diploma in engineering and social science at universities and colleges in Japan.

Nazri said that PSD is sponsoring 1,041 students in various universities and colleges in Japan.

Over 15,000 Malaysians have benefited from LEP, with many holding high and middle positions in the public and private sectors.

The government spends up to RM380,000 on each student for the four years course. Some 400 Malaysian students are pursuing engineering course in South Korea.

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Chief Minister Taib Committed to Sustainable Development in Goal to Achieve ‘Developed’ Status by 2020

Posted on February 15, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Policy |

KUCHING, Sarawak, Malaysia, February 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Sarawak is ahead of other Malaysian states in conducting Social and Environmental Impact Assessments (SEIA) before any development projects begin. Whilst pursuing growth, the Government of Sarawak is promoting sustainable development to ensure that the environment and the state’s natural resources are not adversely affected.

Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said: “I regard environmental protection and sustainable forestry as an integral part of our State’s growth and our goal to achieve ‘developed’ country status by 2020. It is of the utmost importance that we balance development and environmental conservation. This is a key priority for the Government of Sarawak.”

Most recently, the Government conducted a Social and Environmental Impact Assessment on the Murum dam project. This 940MW dam is the third hydro-power dam to be built in Sarawak and the first turbine is planned for operation in August 2012. Hydro-power is the cleanest, safest and cheapest form of energy in the long run and due to today’s technologies, hydropower has a lower environmental impact than traditional fuels such as diesel.

The SEIA Study for the Murum dam project complies with international standards, especially those of the Equator Principles and the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The study examines the social and environmental impact of the dam and the resettlement of the affected communities, including cultural heritage and ethnography. The key to effective resettlement is free, prior and informed consultation with regard to resettlement sites and livelihood options to ensure that the resettlement will result in an improvement in the lives of the people while retaining their cultural heritage. The study will be completed in early 2011 and a summary of the study will be made available to the general public for feedback.

Sarawak is experiencing major construction and infrastructure projects as a result of the Government’s goals to modernise. It aims to increase GDP by 500% and provide over one million new jobs by 2030, thereby improving the standard of living for the people of Sarawak. To do this, it is investing heavily in major industry, agriculture and energy projects.

The Government embarked on the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative in 2008, to develop industry across five key areas, Tanjung Manis, Samalaju, Mukah, Baram and Tunoh. As part of the initiative two hydro power dams at Bakun and Murum, two coal power stations at Mukah and Balingian, an industrial park at Samalaju, a Halal food processing hub at Tanjung Manis, and a Science Park at Mukah are planned. Connecting roads will also be built which will stretch in to rural areas such as Baram and Tunoh.

The SCORE initiative affects a large area (320 km) and although significant the development is gradual and will take a total of 22 years to complete. The Government of Sarawak is being very careful to ensure that this growth is sustainable and that it creates a stronger economy, more jobs, better education and health facilities whilst tightly monitoring the environmental impact to ensure it is kept to a minimum.

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Kudos For Malaysia’s No Plastic Bag Day Campaign

Posted on February 7, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Policy, Waste |

-Bernama-

By Nooralisa Basiron and Siti Syawana Misni

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 (Bernama) — As for the average Malaysian, the plastic bag is indispensable in the shopping routine.

Thus, the plastic bag consumption rate is exceptionally high with the average consumption per individual amounting to eight per week and there are concerns over its safe disposal.

Experts say it may take between 100 and 500 years for the plastic bags to degrade completely and the process emits carbon emissions that contributes to global warming.

It is estimated that Malaysians on average produce 19,000 tonnes of solid waste annually with plastic bags and products representing 24 per cent of the total waste.

ENCOURAGE GREEN TECHNOLOGY

The government has taken numerous efforts to conserve the environment, among others by developing green technology like stated in the 2010 budget.

Awareness activities like greening the surroundings and environmental friendly lifestyle are encouraged, and places like Putrajaya and Cyberjaya are to be benchmarked as Green Technology Towns.

Concurrent with these efforts, the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism has launched the “Use Less Plastic Bags” and “No Plastic Bag Day” to reduce the use of plastic bags.

Starting Jan 1, 2011, on every Saturday plastic bags are no longer provided for free in hypermarkets, supermarkets, departmental stores, convenience shops and selected business premise all over the nation.

For those who still can’t do away with their plastic bag habit, they have to pay 20 sen for each plastic bag.

THE ORIGINS OF NO PLASTIC BAG DAY

The “No Plastic Bag Day” campaign though still new here, it in fact backdates to 2002.

For example, Ireland has been imposing taxes on plastic bags since 2002 and this helped to reduce the plastic bag consumption by 90 per cent.

In the United States, San Francisco also followed suit while Los Angeles effective July 1, 2010 also banned the use of plastic bags and went further by imposing 25 cents for paper bags to encourage consumers to use their own bags when shopping.

In Malaysia, Penang started the ball rolling by launching the “No Plastic Bag Day” campaign on July 6, 2009 in shopping outlets that helped to reduce the plastic bag consumption by one million within four months.

The campaign was then extended to three days a week, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday effective Jan 1, 2010 and effective Jan 1, 2011 Penang achieved the ultimate “No More Free Plastic Bags Any Day”.

In the Klang Valley, and other areas in Selangor hypermarkets like Tesco, Carrefour, Giant, and smaller outlets like Speedmart, Seven Eleven and others took part in the campaign by not providing free plastic bags every Saturday.

The 20 sen collected for each plastic bag will be channeled to welfare bodies or used for environment or consumer programmes.

ALTERNATIVES TO PLASTIC BAGS

The sincere efforts and unwavering commitment from all parties to the campaign points to a good start in reducing the use of plastic bags and finding alternatives that are environmental friendly.

The Environmental Management and Research Association of Malaysia’s (ENSEARCH) Secretary General, Geetha P. Kumaran noted that the campaign to reduce the use of plastic bags should be followed up with campaigns promoting the use bio-degradable plastics.

“The plastic bags cannot be replaced with paper bags that are costly. Therefore, the fibre bags are the solution,” she said through an e-mail to Bernama.

According to Geetha, still the better solution would be through innovation and green technology.

GOOD INITIATIVE

Based on a survey, 128 of the 170 respondents gave thumbs up for the campaign that is considered as a brilliant effort in conserving the environment.

“As consumers we should be aware on why it is important to take care of the environment by carrying the environmental friendly bags and only use the plastic bags as a last resort. Consumers too should not ask for plastic bags if they are only buying a few things,” noted Nurul Aini Abdullah, a consumer when asked on the use of the plastic bags.

A salesman, Jojo, opined that consumers have to be thought the practice of recycling as it could save the environment from pollution.

On the move by the government to impose 20 sen for each plastic bag, most consumers are favourable as this move will serve as a reminder for them to bring their own bags when shopping.

Geetha also opined that the 20 sen figure should be maintained for all plastic bags in line with the rising prices of food and other necessities.

Nevertheless, there are a few who find the campaign burdensome.

Megat, a trader, was not in favour because consumers would have to face inconvenience especially when buying food.

“Paper bags can be used but they are not durable like the plastic bags. Moreover, paper bags are costly and that is why traders prefer to use the plastic bags,” he said.

“Other inhibiting factors are some department stores and supermarkets don’t allow shoppers to carry in their bags to deter shoplifting, and this is a put off for shoppers,” said a shopper who only wanted to be known as Kamaruddin.

A JOINT RESPONSIBILITY

As for the consumers, the general consensus is that in ensuring the effectiveness of the campaign the government has to continue with the campaign.

Apart from the media publicity, those involved in the campaign have to join hands with the NGOs to create awareness on the campaign especially in the outskirts.

Apart from this, the management of shopping centres should also be more firm and provide wholehearted support for the campaign.

Other effective alternatives to plastic bags should be considered as well in achieving the campaign goals.

So if you are asked to pay 20 sen for a plastic bag after this, think twice. Make it a habit of taking a recyclable bag with you during your shopping routines.

– BERNAMA

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