Negri may ban plastic bags

Posted on November 14, 2010. Filed under: Waste |

SEREMBAN: The state government is considering making it a condition that all businesses – from hypermarkets to pasar malam traders – do not use plastic bags on stipulated days as part of their licensing requirement.

Their licences will either be revoked or the traders will be fined if they do not adhere to the condition.

The state authorities had no choice but to take drastic measures to reduce the use of plastic bags, said state Housing, Local Government, New Villages and Public Transport Committee chairman Datuk Siow Chen Pin said.

“We are happy that five big businesses here have started the ball rolling by not using plastic bags on Saturdays.

Say ‘no’ to plastic: Siow (left) and Seremban Municipal Council president Datuk Abdul Halim Abd Latif (right) helping customers at Carrefour Rahang to pack their purchases in green bags.

“We want to extend this to the markets, pasar malam, mini-markets and smaller businesses as well,” he said.

Siow was speaking to reporters after launching the “Day Without Plastic Bags” campaign at Carrefour here.

The other businesses which have decided against giving out free plastic bags on Saturdays are Tesco, Jusco, Giant and Econsave.

Siow said he would also get the more than 1,000 traders at the wet market here to adhere to the ruling.

“We want to educate as many people as possible on the adverse effects plastic has on the environment.

“Since it is not biodegradable, it can take up to 400 years to disintegrate and we all know how hazardous it is to our surroundings,” he said.

He added that many governments had taken similar steps after realising the damage plastic could cause to the environment.

“We want Malaysians to go back to basics … you either take the rattan bag to the market or use green bags which are easily biodegradable,” he said.

Siow said plastic was a petroleum by-product and the demand for fossil fuel would drop if demand for plastic fell.

He added if plastic was burnt, it would release a carcinogen into the air. Similarly, toxins from plastic could also pollute underground water resources.

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