Local councils take over collection of plastic bag charge

Hee (fourth from left) with representatives from the shopping malls holding reusable food containers and straws that will be distributed during the ‘No Plastic Bag and No Straw’ programmes at Empire Shopping Gallery, BMC Mall in Bandar Mahkota Cheras and GM Klang. — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

LOCAL authorities will collect 20sen per plastic bag given out to shoppers at hypermarkets, supermarkets and selected minimarts from operators starting Jan 1 next year.

Selangor environment, green technology and consumer affairs committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said the money collected by the local authorities would be channelled to a state trust fund to conduct environment-friendly advocacy campaigns.

“The local authorities will oversee the purchase of the plastic bags by the operators to determine the amount that needs to be collected.

“Operators who do not follow will be penalised. We are trying a soft and educational approach.

“A total of RM1.87mil was collected cumulatively by the operators since the implementation of the 20sen per plastic bag charge from Jan 1,2017, ” he said.

Hee added that the state has allocated RM750,000 to encourage the private sector, schools, places of worship and non-governmental organisations to independently spur the no single-use plastic bag campaign.

“Each applicant stands to receive between RM5,000 and RM10,000 for their activities.”

The state has also approved RM158,000 for four “No Plastic Bag and No Straw” programmes in SJK (C) Yu Hua in Kajang and three shopping centres, namely Empire Shopping Gallery, BMC Mall in Bandar Mahkota Cheras and GM Klang, until next month.

“A total of 1,500 environment-friendly food containers and stainless steel straw sets will be distributed at the malls, among others. There will also be lucky draws and colouring contests.

“I hope the campaigns to reduce the usage of plastic will be well- received and expanded to more schools next year, ” Hee said.

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