Saturday, May 23, 2009

Penang: Say no to plastic bags

May 23, 2009
Penang: Say no to plastic bags
The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government plans to make every first Monday of the month a “no to plastic bags” day starting from July.

The state was determined to see through the green move despite getting lukewarm response from retail operators in an earlier attempt, when only a handful of them turned up for a meeting on the matter.

Undeterred, state Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said a meeting would again be held on June 2 – this time with 300 operators of mini markets, supermarkets, hypermarkets and departmental stores.

“We’ll make a final decision on June 2 on how we can reduce the use of plastic bags.

“If all goes well, starting on the first Monday of July, no plastic bags will be issued at the counters of these places,” he said here.

An earlier meeting was chaired on May 18 but only 32 operators attended.

“We will work extra hard to generate awareness among Penangites to minimise the use of plastic bags. We will also suggest that all supermarkets and hypermarkets set up express lanes for customers who bring their own bags, give out special promotions and also give out free environment-friendly bags to shoppers who spend RM50 and above,” Phee said.

Phee added that some consumers might be upset about not getting plastic bags but he hoped that they would respect the effort to preserve the environment.

He said several countries had imposed a ban or taxation on the use of plastic bags but Penang was not looking at such legislation yet.

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