Plas­tic bag charges to go to state govt

> Money col­lected will be used for aware­ness cam­paigns: Se­lan­gor exco


SHAH ALAM: The Se­lan­gor gov­ern­ment is con­sid­er­ing col­lect­ing the 20 sen charge from busi­ness premises that im­pose the fee on con­sumers for the sale each plas­tic bag, be­gin­ning next year.

State En­vi­ron­ment, Green Tech­nol­ogy and Con­sumer com­mit­tee chair­man Hee Loy Sian (pix) said the col­lec­tion would be done through lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and would be used for aware­ness cam­paigns.

Presently, the col­lec­tion is utilised by the premises them­selves for cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion.

“The state gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to start col­lect­ing the 20 sen that is be­ing charged for each plas­tic bag and which is be­ing col­lected by busi­nesses, es­pe­cially su­per­mar­kets and con­ve­nience stores.

“The col­lec­tion will be done through the lo­cal coun­cils and is ex­pected to be im­ple­mented by next year. It will be chan­nelled to a trust fund for aware­ness cam­paign at the grass­roots level,” he said when wind­ing up his 2019 Bud­get speech at the state leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly yes­ter­day.

Hee said the pro­posal was also in ac­cor­dance with Malaysia’s

Roadmap To­wards Zero Sin­gle-Use Plas­tic 2018-2030 that was launched in Oc­to­ber.

Se­lan­gor had, be­gin­ning in Jan­uary 2017, re­quired ma­jor hy­per­mar­kets and su­per­mar­kets to charge 20 sen for each plas­tic bag at the shop counter upon re­quest.

Hee added that con­trary to claims that ef­forts to re­duce the use of plas­tic bags through the 20 sen charge have failed, the cam­paign has been a suc­cess, ev­i­dent through the re­duc­tion in the num­ber of con­sumers pur­chas­ing the plas­tic bags.

“This cam­paign can be con­sid­ered a suc­cess be­cause based on in­for­ma­tion re­ceived from the busi­ness premises, the col­lec­tion has re­duced. This proves most con­sumers are al­ready get­ting used to bring­ing their own bags,” he said.

On a sug­ges­tion for the gov­ern­ment to re­place plas­tic bags with pa­per bags, Hee said Se­lan­gor would con­sider it but said it was highly un­likely due to the im­pact it would have on the en­vi­ron­ment.

“There are pros and cons. For one, it can be eas­ily re­cy­cled, it also in­volves cut­ting down trees. It is also not suitable in car­ry­ing wet and heavy items in it,” he said.

... Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan (sec­ond from left) look­ing at a mu­ral at Lorong Ban­dar 13, which is part of the laneway up­grad­ing pro­gramme in the city. Eight laneways within the his­toric core of Kuala Lumpur have been iden­ti­fied to be part of the up­grad­ing pro­ject

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