Ipoh starts its ‘no plastic bag’ on Saturdays drive

Bring your own: Rumaizi (second right) at the launch of the campaign at Dataran Ipoh.

IPOH: Consumers here will now be charged 20 sen for a plastic bag every Saturday in line with the Federal Government’s move towards a zero single-use plastic bag campaign.

According to Ipoh mayor Datuk Rumaizi Baharin, this was among the first steps to be taken by the Ipoh City Council (MBI) to support the campaign.

“The rate will be charged per plastic bag and we will first implement this at premises located around town. It is the first campaign in Ipoh.

“We have a total of 1,378 premises comprising hypermarkets, convenience stores, petrol stations, fast food restaurants and even pharmacies in the city.

“We are hoping to get as many premises as possible to participate in the campaign,” he told reporters at MBI square yesterday.

On May 9, the Federal Government announced that the use of plastic bags would be phased out within two years across all businesses, including roadside stalls.

Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the “No Plastic Bag” campaign, which had begun gradually in shops with fixed locations like supermarkets, would be extended to other business premises with a ban targeted for 2025.

On May 24, he admitted that the government still faced a number of challenges in achieving its goal of banning single-use plastic for retail purposes, adding that the enforcement of such a campaign was still under the jurisdiction of local councils.

Rumaizi said during a recent session between the MBI licence and health departments, and a group of 120 traders, nearly 20% of them had registered as a zero-plastic-bag premises.

He added the money collected from the campaign would be given to MBI to run programmes including tree planting, exhibitions as well as recycling.

“We hope the campaign will be supported by members of the public, who should bring their own bag when buying groceries,” he said.

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