PENANG aspires to be the greenest state in Malaysia driven by a green economy, innovative governance with 4P partnerships (public, private, people, professional) and sustainability-led development agenda by 2030.
In his World Environment Day message, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that by 2050, Penang would be a high-income, caring, inclusive, low-carbon and resilient state that emphasises the integrity of its people and environment.
“In the last 10 years, due to the lack of support from the Federal Government, we did not dare to dream big and we did not dare to have an ambitious vision.
“We hope the change of the political scenario will bring Penang to greater heights not only in economic growth but also in becoming the greenest state in Malaysia.
“In this year of transformation, we urge governments, industry, communities and individuals to come together and explore sustainable alternatives.
“We want them to prioritise policies and solutions for long-term improvement of our environment, economy and society.
“Let us become better stewards of our planet,” he said yesterday.
Chow said to make Penang the greenest state by 2030, the state would have to mainstream the environmental, economic and social sustainability into Penang’s Integrated Development Planning.
“While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over-reliant on single-use or disposable plastic with severe environmental consequences.
“These unsustainable patterns generate a vast amount of waste, much of it contributing to marine litter which has choked our oceans and waterways.
“This is why Penang launched the ‘No Free Plastic Bags’ campaign in all supermarkets and hypermarkets in 2009.
“We are also aware of the lack of waste treatment and recycling facilities when implementing the Waste Segregation At Source policy.
“We hope to work more closely with the Federal Government to bring the Waste Segregation at Source Policy in Penang and Malaysia to a greater height by improving solid waste management, waste collection system, recycling and treatment facilities and public cleansing works.
“The aim to increase both the local and national recycling rate can only be achieved when the recyclables are collected properly and are not dumped into landfills.
“By working with the Federal Government, I hope Penang can embrace green growth with new technologies,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Consumers’ Association of Penang has called for a ban on single-use plastics in the state.
Its president S.M. Mohamed Idris said that in 2016, the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association stated that the average Malaysian used 300 plastic bags per year.
“With a population of 30 million, the result is a whopping nine billion plastic bags.
“This figure is solely based on plastic bags take-away from hypermarkets and supermarkets and does not include night markets, wet markets or even from the hawker stalls,” he said.
Mohamed Idris lauded the announcement by Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin in May that there would be a nationwide ban on plastic bags within a year.