Ban straws and plastic cups? ‘Just do it,’ says Penang CM

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the outcome of the general election demonstrated the public’s support for the state’s green initiatives.  — Picture by KE Ooi
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the outcome of the general election demonstrated the public’s support for the state’s green initiatives. — Picture by KE Ooi

PETALING JAYA, June 25 — Penang will embark on a ban of plastic straws and other single-use plastic food and drink containers after Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow gave local authorities carte blanche to execute such policies to preserve the environment.

According to The Star, Chow said he told Penang Island City Council mayor Yew Tung Seang to proceed with the latter’s proposal and any other that could help protect the local environment.

“If there is a need — whatever the proposal is — just do it, as we are doing it for the benefit of Penang and the Mother Earth,” he was quoted as saying yesterday by the newspaper.

Chow said the outcome of the general election demonstrated the public’s support for the state’s green initiatives, adding that the local council was studying other steps and approaches that will contribute to environmental conservation.

Chow added that state Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh was already looking into the details of the straw and plastic ban.

“We will not be taking too much time before a decision is made,” he was quoted saying.

The proposal is consistent with the state’s existing measures to reduce waste.

Penang was the first state in Malaysia to launch a limited “No Free Plastic Bag” campaign in July 2009 on select days.

In 2011, the policy was extended to a complete ban on the single-use carrying bags.

The policy was later adopted by other states including Selangor.