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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 ― All state governments have expressed support for the implementation of the “No Plastic Bag” campaign in a bid to increase appreciation of the “green lifestyle” among Malaysians.
Deputy Minister of Environment and Water Datuk Dr Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad said in a statement today that the implementation of the initiative aimed to address the pollution problem caused by single-use plastics.
Members of the 76th National Council Meeting for Local Government (MNKT), who met on November 18, have approved the Proposed Paper for the Implementation of the “No Plastic Bag” campaign by local authorities (PBT) that was presented by the Ministry of Environment and Water (Kasa).
“The MNKT also agreed to approve its implementation at all premises nationwide by imposing a minimum charge of 20 sen for each plastic bag requested by customers at the payment counter.
“The imposition of this charge is based on the user-pay-principle, which aims to avoid the use of disposable plastic. This collection needs to be handed over to the local authority to be used for environmental sustainability activities for the well-being of the people,” he said.
He said the campaign would be carried out in two phases. Phase 1 will be from December 2020 to 2021, with the implementation focused on permanent premises, namely supermarkets, hypermarkets, convenience stores, fast food restaurants, petrol stations, chain stores and pharmacies.
Phase 2 (2022 - 2025) would see the campaign extended to other types of business premises, including grocery stores, wet markets, night markets and farmer’s markets.
“This is in line with the implementation of the Malaysia Roadmap towards Zero Disposable Plastic 2018-2030, which aims to curb disposable plastic waste and move to other alternatives that are more environmentally friendly,” he said.
Kasa, he added, would work with all state governments and local authorities to implement the campaign, including providing information and awareness to the public on the need to avoid the use of disposable plastics.
Members of the public are encouraged to carry reusable bags in a joint effort to preserve the environment. ― Bernama