Supermarket chain Village Grocer stopping use of plastic bags from today

Tanzania is banning the importation, production, sale and use of plastic bags, becoming the 34th African country to implement such restrictions, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). ― AFP pic
Tanzania is banning the importation, production, sale and use of plastic bags, becoming the 34th African country to implement such restrictions, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). ― AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Local supermarket chain Village Grocer announced today that it will no longer be providing plastic bags at all its stores in the Klang Valley and Johor with immediate effect.

It said it hopes to contribute to reducing single-use plastics and encourage its customers towards recycling and other sustainable measures.

Its operator, The Food Purveyor (TFP) said the initiative is in line with its campaign to go plastic free by 2023.

“Plastic pollution is a pressing issue, globally. The simplest way to reduce plastic pollution is to simply stop using single-use plastic. And that is what we did. We completely removed all single-use plastic bags in our outlets and drive momentum in influencing our customers’ behaviour to bring their reusable produce and carrier bags and reward them via our Bites loyalty programme.

“The more they use reusable bags, the more rewards they gain, and the cycle continues and no plastic bag ‘leakages’ into the environment,” TFP chief executive Geoff King said in a statement.

He added that the group hopes to cut out some 30 million single-use plastic packaging and bags by the end of this year.

King said the company has noticed that some of its customers were willing to buy eco-friendly reusable shopping bags and hoped others would adopt these alternatives.

He added that the group hopes to lead by example and contribute towards Malaysia’s Roadmap Towards Single-Use Plastics 2018 – 2030 and inspire other retailers to adopt the same initiative.

A 2019 study commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) showed Malaysia has the highest annual per capita plastic use at 16.78kg per person compared to other countries in Asean.

In terms of plastic waste, Malaysia ranks the second-highest in overall generated waste.

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