GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s quest to reduce plastic bag usage has brought political foes together in the state assembly.
State opposition leader Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Nor said he agreed with executive council member Jagdeep Singh Deo who had spoken about the negative impact of plastic waste on the environment.
“I am against the use of plastic as it is a source of pollution,” Muhammad Yusoff said.
Since Penang’s “No Free Plastic Bag” move in 2009, in which such bags are charged 20 sen, Jagdeep said the state had collected RM8.9mil.
“If I were to do the math and calculate the number of plastic bags bought by the public that equal that amount, it would mean our project has failed. But this is not our objective,” he said.
Instead, he said the state government would continue with its mission to promote public awareness about the perils in using plastic bags.
“The millions of plastic bags that the public has bought would go into rivers and in the end, into the ocean. These bags will still be around for generations to come,” he added.
Jagdeep said he wanted to stop the use of plastic bags in the state, urging all the lawmakers to agree with him.
Meanwhile, State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the “No to Plastic Straw” campaign would be carried out in three phases within 12 months.
“For the first six months from April to September, we will be carrying out educational awareness campaigns,” said Phee.
“From October to March next year, educational enforcement will be carried out. And from April, we will fully enforce the ban on plastic straw usage.”