KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — All state governments have agreed to implement a pollution charge on plastic bags used with a minimum value of 20 sen for each one through the “No Plastic Bag Campaign”, which has already been carried out in Penang, Selangor and Johor.

Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man in a statement today said his ministry had obtained the mandate from the 76th National Council meeting for Local Government to impose the pollution charge.

He said an agreement to continue the implementation of the campaign had been reached in the Meeting of Environment Ministers and Members of the State Executive Council Responsible for the Environment (Mexcoe), which he chaired today.

“Several other states are planning to start implementing this campaign along with the collection of the charge, starting with the initial phase of consumer awareness.

“This initiative that has been implemented since 2021 is an effective effort in reducing plastic pollution in Malaysia. I hope this initiative will continue to be supported by all parties for the sake of environmental sustainability which is our shared responsibility,” he said in a statement today.

Apart from that, he said the Department of Environment (DOE) had continued to strengthen the Rakan Alam Sekitar (RAS) programme by creating five main clusters under RAS 2.0 to mobilise environmental conservation activities throughout the country in a more focused manner.

According to him, the establishment of the Agency RAS Cluster, Campus RAS Cluster, School RAS Cluster, Industrial RAS Cluster and Community RAS Cluster is aimed at forming and categorising RAS members, and will involve members of the Civil Defence Force, People’s Volunteer Corps, Scouts and Rukun Tetangga.

Tuan Ibrahim said the meeting also agreed on strengthening cooperation between the federal and state government to ensure that development activities can be balanced with the need to preserve the environment.

The meeting also informed that the national-level National Environment Day celebration this year would be held on October 21 in Pahang.

Meanwhile, Tuan Ibrahim said the Mexcoe would be strengthened with the reorganisation of its members as well as the addition of new ones, especially from the Sabah and Sarawak state governments. — Bernama