BUSINESSMEN in Selangor will face a RM1,000 fine if they use polystyrene packages come January 2017.
The fine comes following the new policy set by the state government that bans the use of polystyrene and promotes reduced plastic bag usage next year. The ban will take effect on Jan 1.
Selangor State Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said the fine was the standard amount for any breach of licence condition.
She said several additional conditions had been added to the by-laws to incorporate the new ruling.
“The maximum fine is RM1,000 and shoppers will be charged a minimum of 20sen for single-use plastic bags.
“We will waive the charge for plastic bags under certain conditions,” she added.
Among the things exempted from charges include plastic bags for raw meat (chicken, fish, beef and mutton) and plants or roots covered in sand or soil (for instance potatoes and ginger), flower, unwrapped loose seeds, products (prescription and poisonous substances) and live fish or aquatic products.
The announcement was made yesterday at the state secretariat building during the “No Plastic Bag Day” campaign launch.
Selangor had introduced the campaign on Saturdays but extended it after receiving feedback from a public survey , according to Wong.
“According to state surveys, 71% of Selangor folk feel that ‘No Plastic Bag’ on Saturdays only is not enough. We need change and we are committed to this change by making it a policy to fight rampant littering and to address environmental issues,” she added.
Wong said the local councils had put together a list of alternative packaging providers but traders could source the products on their own as well.
“Local councils including Sabak Bernam and Shah Alam have sourced from local companies, giving opportunities to small and medium industries.
All 12 local councils launched educational activities for the “No plastic bag” campaign during Ramadan this year where traders were asked to provide alternative biodegradable food packaging.
The state government has launched an educational website where the public can pledge to go plastic-free. It aims to collect 20,000 pledges by the new year. For details, go to www.bebasplastik.my