Nationwide campaign on “No Plastic Bags on Saturdays” launched

Posted on January 1, 2011. Filed under: Waste |

-The Star-

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has launched a simultaneous nationwide campaign that will see all hypermarkets, supermarkets and Petronas petrol stations no longer giving out free plastic bags on Saturdays.

In statement issued on Saturday, the ministry said it had also met with retailers to discuss the effort to minimise the use of plastic bags in the country starting yesterday and some of them had agreed to join the campaign.

With the campaign, shoppers nationwide will now have to pay 20sen if they want the shopping centre or outlet they visit on Saturdays, to give them a plastic shopping bag.

The money collected from the fee would be channelled into a special fund used to conduct environment preservation and protection related programmes as well as activities for consumers and communities.

“The objective of the campaign is to support the government effort to preserve the environment and the depleting resources while instilling environment friendly values among the public and businesses,” it said in the statement.

The campaign, which had been implemented only in Penang and Selangor before this, was launched simultaneously in all states with the theme Safe Our Future Generation and Earth.

The ministry said the government launched the efforts to reduce waste after its projections showed that Malaysians would create 30,000 tonnes of solid waste daily by the year 2020.

It said it hoped that the campaign would reduce the effects that the use of plastic shopping bags had on the economy, environment and the health of consumers themselves.

“The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry will continue with efforts to raise awareness among consumers,” it said.

Meanwhile the launch of the campaign in Putrajaya saw dozens of staff from the ministry handing out pamphlets on the campaign as well as reusable cloth bags to shoppers at the Alamanda shopping centre here.

The ministry staff handed out hundreds of reusable shopping bags to holiday shoppers and many of the recipients welcomed the government effort that would help reduce the amount of plastic bags that often end up in landfills.


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