Saturday, January 02, 2010

No Plastic Day - Penang to penalise outlets

January 2, 2010
Penang to penalise outlets that ignore 'No Plastic Day’ campaign
The Star
By MANJIT KAUR

GEORGE TOWN: Penang will become the first in South-East Asia to take action against outlets that do not observe the “No Plastic Day” campaign this year.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the action included the imposing of a fine or the rejection of licence renewal applications by the local authorities.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that for the first three months, the state would create, awareness and education on the matter, and at the end of March make a decision whether to extend the campaign or to start enforcement strictly.

He, however, said the enforcement such as fines, issuance and renewal of business licenses and penalties would start this year with a date to be announced later.

Lim said that even though the state hoped to become a green state quickly, they would not impose unbearable burdens on businesses and would proceed progressively.

He hoped that businesses could familiarise themselves and support this important green initiative for the benefit of the future generation.

Lim said Penang had decided to take the bold step to promote a state-wide campaign to reduce plastic bags consumption last year.

“I know that this decision will not please everyone especially the plastic bag manufacturers, but we are ready to expect criticism.

“The state government also expects to lose popularity, however, for the sake of our children and unborn grandchildren we are willing to face such risks.

“We are willing to lose our popularity but not our next generation,” he told a press conference after launching the extension days of the “No Plastic Day’ on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the state from Jan 1 at Komtar Walk here Saturday.

It was reported on Nov 28 last year that the state government had decided to extend its ‘No Plastic Monday’ campaign against the use of plastic bags to three days in a week.

Lim said all stores (not including hawkers) must observe at least one day a week without plastic bags, while hypermarkets and supermarkets must abide by the ruling three days a week.

He said those who wanted plastic bags would be charged 20sen per plastic bag, which would then be channelled to the state government’s ‘Partners Against Poverty’ (PAP) fund to wipe out hardcore poverty.

“To date we have collected RM27,000 for the PAP fund from the proceeds,” he added.

Lim said it was the responsibility of everyone to ensure that the environment was protected.

He said the consumption of plastic bags was so enormous a heap of plastic bags as big as Borneo were floating in the Pacific Ocean.

“Therefore, Penang has start the ball rolling to make changes to our lifestyle,” he added.

1 comment:

penangwolf said...

This program is a political challenge to Guan Eng. I suppose many Penangites (and Malaysians in general) are not very keen on environment preservation and more likely to think about their convenience and comfort. Somehow I hope education will shade lights and increase general population's awareness and soon people will realize the good-caused behind this program.

In Czech; ever since my arrival in 2005; the plastic program already started for chain of mini-marts. And beginning of 2007 larger hypermarkets join in with life-time warranty bags made of cotton fabric, gunny-sack material, paper and plastic canvass. These days my wife and I brings our own environment bags whenever we go shopping.

Another thing is in every housing areas there will be separate garbage container for paper products, recycle-able plastic and colored bottles (between colored and white).