KUALA LUMPUR: Nipping the use of plastic straws at its source is the only way for the ban to work, said Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad.
“People do not actually go out to buy straws; they get it from restaurants.
“If the restaurants don’t provide the straws, then theoretically, you will solve the problem,” said Khalid.
But having said that, Khalid added that he did not think the ban in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan next year would completely eradicate the usage of plastic straws in the country.
There is bound to be some small stalls or restaurants in the outskirts that will still provide straws.
“But we hope to reduce (the usage of) plastic straws significantly by the end of the year. It is an ongoing process,” he said.
Khalid said he hoped that restaurants and mamak stalls would make an effort to stop providing plastic straws.
Last year, the ministry announced that the plastic straw ban in the Federal Territories will take effect on Jan 1, 2019, but Khalid said enforcement would take effect next year.
Meanwhile, waste company Alam Flora chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zain Hassan said the campaign was still new and there was no date yet on its effectiveness.
“KL-ites are producing some 1.2kg to 1.5kg of waste per person per day.
“That’s not just plastic straws but all kinds of plastic waste found in the waste stream, which is a lot.
“And that’s why we appreciate the ministry’s green campaign and everything that they are doing,” he said.
For the record, in Kuala Lumpur, DBKL spends RM260mil a year on waste management.
In Putrajaya, it is RM90mil and in Labuan it’s RM50mil.
Meanwhile, Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) has included the ban on plastic straws as part of its licensing condition effective Jan 1 this year.
“Indirectly, this condition serves as an early notice for traders when they apply for a new licence or renew their business licence,” said PPj City Services Department Commercial, Business Development and Licensing Section director Noor Sita Abbas.
She said several eateries in Putrajaya already embraced the ban on plastic straws by offering alternatives made from paper or other biodegradable materials.
“There are also traders who no longer offer plastic straws to customers while some consumers have chosen to bring their own reusable straws whenever they eat out.
“PPj will from time to time throughout this year run awareness campaigns on the negative effects of using plastic straws until the ban is enforced in Jan 1, 2020,” Noor Sita said.
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