KUALA LUMPUR: Consumers in Selangor will have to make changes in their lifestyle and adapt to Selangor’s move to reduce the use of plastic bags and ban polystyrene food containers from next year.
The announcement to this effect was made by state Green Technology and Environment Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong at a #BebasPlastik campaign launch in Shah Alam yesterday.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association president Datuk N. Marimuthu said despite the obvious short-term hassle of coping without plastic bags, Malaysians needed to get on board with the green initiative.
“The whole world is changing and we must change.
“What’s wrong with not using plastic bags? We need to start somewhere,” he said.
The move will see Selangor following Penang, which imposed such a ruling in 2011.
Consumers Association of Penang was reported as saying that seven years after the launch of the campaign, people were still willing to pay 20 sen for a plastic bag.
But the proceeds from the sale will go towards the state’s Agenda Ekonomi Saksama programme to benefit needy groups.
Perak and Johor have also announced that they would ban the use of polystyrene containers and plastic bags from June next year.
Previously, Selangor held a “No Plastic Day” every Saturday.
With this new ruling, the campaign will be extended to seven days a week.
In August, Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association had reportedly disagreed with the outright ban, and said better waste management should be in place instead.
“Not only does the plastic bag provide the convenience of carrying products but it can be reused as a bin liner for waste disposal.
“Removing plastic bags completely will take away the public’s right to decide whether to pay for waste bags or get free bags at retail outlets.
“Given the present difficult economic situation, the public has a right to exercise prudence in spending,” said its president Datuk Lim Kok Boon.