Selangor: No plastic bag day to be extended

Posted on November 11, 2010. Filed under: Waste |

Meena L. Ramadas newsdesk@thesundaily.com

SHAH ALAM (Nov 11, 2010): The Selangor government will extend its No Plastic Bag Day initiative by one day, state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong (PKR-Bukit Lanjan) said today.

Currently, the initiative is carried out every Saturday at complying supermarkets, hypermarkets and sundry stores. Customers are required to bring their own bags when shopping at these places.

“The federal government, through the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism, will be launching a similar campaign starting January,” she said in reply to a question from assemblyman Lau Weng San (DAP-Kg Tunku).

She said since the implementation of the initiative early this year, the number of plastic bags used has been reduced by four million.

She also said a total of 74 stores have joined in the initiative up to last month.

Wong said proceeds amounted to RM250,000 from the 20 sen charge for plastic bags have been channelled to various community programmes and campaigns.

She said according to a study carried out by independent opinion research firm Merdeka Center in June this year, the initiative was supported by 83.6% of the respondents.

Lau suggested that the state government conduct research to evaluate the campaign’s efficacy, to which Wong said the state government will be working on it.

“The research would enhance the efficacy of the campaign, she said.

She also said the research findings will be provided to other state governments.

Dr Shafie Abu Bakar (PAS-Bangi) said getting manufacturers to stop producing plastic bags would be a more effective way to curb theit use.

State assembly speaker Teng Chang Kim said a ban on plastic bags would affect the state’s investment rate.

Wong said: “It would be a drastic move. We want to reduce the use of plastic bags, not ban them.”

She said the priority of the state government is to educate the public that using plastic bags affects the environment.

She also said the state government is drawing up a plan to ensure solid waste from households, commercial outlets and factories is separated, which can reduce the number of plastic bags in landfills.

The no plastic bag policy had reportedly drew flak from voters for inconvenience and had affected businesses in the state.

The report, carried by online news portal The Malaysian Insider, also said some businesses faced a 30% drop in business

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