Penang extends ban on polystyrene utensils and food packaging

BUKIT MERTAJAM: The state government's ban on polystyrene utensils and food packaging will be extended to all food outlets and restaurants, supermarkets and shopping malls, as well as all hawkers stalls, including those in night markets, effective Friday.

Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) president Maimunah Mohd Sharif (pic) said the ban, implemented in 2010, previously covered only council-run hawker centres and state-organised events.

She said food operators in the state would be given a three-month grace period until August to switch to biodegradable utensils and cardboard lunchboxes.

"Council officers on both the island and mainland will then closely monitor these premises between September and November, and issue warning notices to errant operators.

"Enforcement will begin in December, and hopefully by January 2013, none of the public food premises will use polystyrene plates, cups and food packaging," she said after chairing a full council meeting at the MPSP headquarters here.

She said the move was in line with the state's Cleaner, Greener, Safer and Healthier Penang policy.

Maimunah said those who ignored the ban could be slapped with a RM250 compound and risked not having their business licences renewed.

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