PLASTIC bags being sold over the counter, must be invoiced and itemised in the customer’s receipt.
Selangor State Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said plastic bags were considered a regular transaction.
“When a customer requests for a plastic bag, the 20sen charge should be itemised into their receipt as a regular transaction.
“Large supermarkets and grocery stores will be charged GST for the plastic bags issued, but smaller vendors will not be taxed,” she said in response to a question from Kinrara assemblyman Ng Sze Han.
Ng said that proper guidelines were necessary to avoid confusion.
“Many retailers have told me they are unsure what to do with the 20sen collection.
“If they itemise the sale of plastic bags, they will not be questioned as to where the money is going.
“The GST imposed on the 20sen also can easily be absorbed,” he said.
On the question of where the 20sen collection was being channelled to, Wong said the money was used to fund green initiatives by local authorities and supermarkets.
“From the 20sen collection, 99 Speedmart has contributed RM1mil to the Shah Alam Municipal Council and Klang District Council to clean up Sungai Klang. The initiative began in December last year.
“Giant also used its collection for its ‘Sentuhan Hijau’ environmental campaign.
“The state government will have scheduled meetings with business owners to monitor collection and the activities they have chosen to channel it to,” she said.
Batu Tiga assemblyman Rodziah Ismail proposed that woven bags or paper bags be issued instead of customers paying 20sen for plastic bags as the Bebas Plastik campaign was aimed at eradicating the use of plastic and polystyrene packaging.
Wong responded that the suggestion was fair, but added that giving paper bags for free was not a viable option.
“Paper bags are not made of fully organic materials and still take time to disintegrate in the landfill.
“Paper bags also deplete resources and this is the start of a whole new problem, if they are given out for free.
“But we will not stop business owners from giving out paper bags as an alternative to plastic bags,” she said.