SHAH ALAM residents were reminded once again to reduce the use of plastic bags and polystyrene during a two-day carnival organised by the city council.
The carnival at Dataran Kemerdekaan in Shah Alam was aimed at raising awareness of biodegradable products such as plastic, food containers and bags.
“This is one way which we can show our commitment to saving the environment, by educating the public on reducing the use of plastic and polystyrene,” said mayor Datuk Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad at the event.
The carnival, he added, was encouraged by the state government, which has allocated RM20,000 for this Plastic Free and Food Truck 2018 carnival.
The carnival was also in line with Shah Alam City Council’s (MBSA) plan to reduce carbon emissions by 45% before 2030.
“In fact, we have conducted a number of green programmes and initiatives since 2016, such as advocating the ban of plastic and polystyrene use at bazaars and commercial outlets,” he said.
MBSA also introduced the green bag to Ramadan Bazaar traders.
“We are very committed in our plan to make Shah Alam a low carbon city in 2030, and I hope that recycling will become a culture here in the city,” he said.
At the carnival, there were two rows of food trucks selling a variety of food and drinks.
There were also performances to entertain the crowd, as well as activities for children and exhibitions.
Present to launch the event was Selangor Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Hee Loy Sian, who said events such as this was helping the state to raise awareness of going green and recycling initiatives.
“The use of plastic and polystyrene has to stop. It may be troublesome for users to bring their own recyclable bags, but it is for the good of the environment and it will soon become a habit,” he said.
He added that the more plastic was used, the more illegal plastic recycling factories would mushroom, causing pollution.
Next year, the state will be focusing on reducing the use of straws at all business premises.
“Everyone is encouraged to bring their own stainless steel straws or just drink directly from the cup without a straw.
“There will not be a ban on straws yet. We will encourages business owners to stop giving out straws,” he said.
Apart from that, the state is also looking into collecting the money made by businesses from selling plastic bags to customers next year.
He explained that the 20sen paid for every plastic bag can come up to millions, and this might be used as an opportunity for some businesses to make money.
“We do not know where the money goes. To stop this, the state has plans to collect all sales of plastic bags from commercial outlets.
“This money will be used by the state to produce recyclable bags, to be given out for free to the public,” he said.
Hee said he was also looking at carrying out recycling campaigns at schools next year, starting with the primary schools.
At the event, MBSA received two awards from World Wide Fund for Nature for being a finalist in the One Planet City Challenge Malaysia 2018, and winning of the nationwide We Love Cities 2018 contest.