A PLASTIC- and polystyrene-free campaign launched in Jan 1 last year for seven days has brought about a positive outcome as money collected from plastic bag requests in shops has immensely decreased.
Selangor Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said the campaign aimed to increase awareness among Selangor residents on the long-term effects of using plastic bags and polystyrene.
“Apart from that, the campaign is also to curb environmental and river pollution and also maintain Selangor’s cleanliness,” Hee said at a ceremony to give out the Plastic-free Campaign Award.
In a show of appreciation for their efforts and cooperation for going plastic-free, the state set aside RM7,000 for each local authority in Selangor.
The Selangor government also gave out appreciation certificates to all business operators who were committed to the campaign.The certificates were given to business operators in the mall, supermarket, grocery store, food premises and international food chain categories.
“This Plastic-free Campaign Award is meant to appreciate and recognise local authorities and business operators that have given their commitment and cooperation to the campaign,” Hee said.
With the launch of the plastic-free campaign, plastic bags are only given to customers upon request and each bag costs 20sen.
“To those who always wondered where the 20sen paid for the plastic bags goes, the money goes to the Selangor government.
“We are still working on a mechanism to ease the process of collecting the money from local authorities.
“The system has been used by the Penang government and it has received positive feedback,” Hee added.
Starting 2019, the government will discourage the usage of straws and single-use plastic in Selangor.
“Restaurants will no longer serve drinks with straws unless requested by customers.
“We are also working on campaigns in schools, starting from primary school as we want to instil in students the importance of caring for the environment.
“We also want to spread the word to students about how important it is to stop or reduce the usage of single-use plastic bags in their daily life,” said Hee.