Absolutely no more plastic bags in Penang on Mondays from July 1... not even if you pay for it

Starting next month, businesses will stop dispensing plastic bags on Mondays in Penang. ― Reuters pic
Starting next month, businesses will stop dispensing plastic bags on Mondays in Penang. ― Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 ― The Penang government is asking businesses in the state to stop dispensing plastic bags on Mondays starting next month.

This means customers who forget to bring a bag won’t be able to even pay the nominal 20 sen charge at checkout, The Star reported today.

“We do not want them to do it just because it is a policy.

“My office will prepare the posters for these operators to encourage consumers to voluntarily stop using plastic bags,” Penang Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh was quoted saying.

The latest move is an expansion of the state’s initiative towards zero-plastic bag usage, which began in July 2009 and has since widened to daily charges of 20 sen per bag.

The new practice from July onwards is expected to affect customers who shop at places like hypermarkets, supermarkets, pharmacies, convenience and department stores.

The Penang government has reportedly collected RM8.9 million in plastic bag fees since 2009 till March this year, which is channelled into social economic programmes under its Agenda Ekonomi Saksama for low-income homes.

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