PUTRAJAYA: The Energy, Science and Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry plans to release a list of state governments and agencies that have opted to ban the use of single-use plastic in hopes of inspiring others to do the same.
Its secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Azhar Yahaya (pic) said government departments and agencies are slowly learning to say no to single-use plastics and some have included it as a condition for license renewal.
“I’d like to congratulate the Federal Territories Ministry for prohibiting business owners from giving out plastic straws as part of the terms to renew their license since January. Even the Tourism, Culture and Arts Ministry is committed to draft a plan to fight single-use plastic,” he said.
Azhar said the Selangor state government also played a big part in promoting a greener lifestyle by being among the first to get businesses to stop giving out plastic bags for free.
Starting July 1, eateries in the state will also have to stop giving out plastic straws for free. A nationwide ban is expected next year.
He added that many government agencies and departments are also trying to shake their dependence on single-use plastic following a circular that came out in March.
“The acceptance is slow but steady and we view this positively as we cannot expect an overall change overnight,” he said.
He said the ban on single-use plastic is also being supported by NGOs and celebrities who promote sustainable living by bringing their own bags and food containers.
“I hope with their help, this new attitude will catch on,” he said.