No more free plastic bags

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

-The Star-

GEORGE TOWN: It’s all systems go for Penang’s “No Free Plastic Bags” and ‘No Polystyrene at Local Council Hawker Centres’ rulings which come into force today.

The Penang Consumer Watch Group in all 40 state constituencies will monitor the daily “no plastic bag” rule through random checks at shopping centres, hypermarkets, departmental stores, pharmacies, fast food restaurants, nasi kandar outlets and convenience stores.

State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said they would report back to the state on whether operators have adhered to the ruling as well as consumers’ response.

Oh darn it!’: Some customers taking notice of the ‘No Plastic Bag’ poster placed at a hypermarket in Penang.

“Last year was spent educating the public on the ruling.

“It’s time for full implementation now,” he said.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will launch the campaigns at Sunway Carnival in Seberang Prai today.

Shoppers who don’t bring their own reusable bags will be charged 20 sen for each plastic bag.

Money collected from the sale of plastic bags are for the “Partners Against Poverty” special fund to help the state’s hardcore poor.

Mini-markets and sole proprietorship businesses will have to adhere to the ruling on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

On the polystyrene ban, Phee said the local councils’ health department would conduct random checks at hawker centres to enforce the ruling.

Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Operators Association president Noorul Hassan Saul Hameed urged its members in the state to adhere to the ruling.

“Although we are not affected by the polystyrene ban, the association is planning a nationwide roadshow to educate our members on more environmentally-friendly packaging next year,” he said.

Penang Chinese Commercial Union chairman Tan Cheng Eow said memos had been sent to all its members to adhere to the plastic bag ruling.

“We have advised our members, comprising mini market and sundry shop owners and wholesalers, to adhere to the ruling or risk facing difficulties in renewing their business licences.

Sunshine Wholesale Mart general manager Yee Kam Ming said the chain had prepared recycled boxes for customers who buy a lot of items at its six outlets in Penang.

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