Boot for polystyrene food packs

Posted on July 22, 2010. Filed under: Waste |

theSun- By Himanshu Bhatt

Ramaness bites a plate made of biodegradable sugar cane fibre.

GEORGE TOWN (July 22, 2010): The Penang government will embark on its drive next month to stop the use of polystyrene at all licensed eateries.In the meantime, the state is encouraging and promoting biodegradable containers as an alternative.

Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said this was in line with the state’s “Cleaner Greener Penang” initiative to make Penang more environmentally-friendly.

He said the Penang island and Seberang Perai municipal councils would send notices to all licence holders and hawkers from Aug 1 to inform them not to use polystyrene containers which are not biodegradable.

It is understood that the ban would only be enforced in January next year and the authorities will work on awareness and educational programmes for the rest of this year.

“Once the ban is in place, it will encourage more manufacturers to get into the business of making alternative biodegradable containers, causing the prices of such products to come down,” he said at a press conference with manufacturers and sponsors of biodegradable materials at the chief minister’s office today.

Also present was CM Lim Guan Eng and state environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh.

Return 2 Green Sdn Bhd CEO P. Ramaness showed reporters a range of biodegradable dishes made of sugar cane waste fibres that his company is developing as an alternative to polystyrene.

To prove that the products were so organic they could be digested, he ate a plate made by his company to demonstrate its biodegradable property .

Meanwhile, Keluarga Utama Sdn Bhd director Phuah Gim Chong said the company has sponsored 25,000 pieces of food-grade paper lunch boxes manufactured by PPH Paper Products Sdn Bhd that are seen as alternatives to replace the toxic polystyrene foam box.

With the sponsorship, the boxes are able to be supplied at 10sen each to be affordable for consumers.

The ban on polystyrene complements the state’s campaign to reduce consumption of plastic bags at retail outlets like supermarkets and shops in Penang.


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