Malaysia: Malacca bans plastic bags

R.S.N. MURALI The Star 30 Dec 15;

MALACCA: Consumers in Malacca will have to bring along their own shopping bags after the state government declares a total ban on plastic bags made from petroleum by-products at all supermarkets and shopping malls from Friday.

Previously, all shopping premises in Malacca had a “No Plastic Bag Day” on Fridays and Saturdays.

State Education, Higher Education, Science and Technology, Green Technology and Innovation chairman Datuk Md Yunos Husin said the ruling would be imposed in all shopping malls and supermarkets.

“From Jan 1, consumers will have bring along their own shopping bags or the cash counters will supply them with biodegradable bags made of plant-based materials,” he said yesterday.

He said the move was an initiative by the state government to reduce wastage and in line with Malacca’s status as a green technology state.

“Our landfills and drains are filled with paper bags and this doesn’t serve our ambitious plan to be a fully green state,” he said.

Md Yunos said the planning was done two years ago with discussions with representatives from all malls and supermarkets before the implementation.

“At the same time, factories and manufacturers in the state will also be encouraged to reduce packaging materials made of plastic,” Md Yunos said.

He said the ruling also would affect hawkers and eateries in the state as they would not be allowed to use polystyrene packaging.

Meanwhile, Malacca Bio-Technology Corporation’s CEO Badrul Hisham Badrudin said biodegradable plastic bags and food containers would be supplied to shopping premises and eateries.

He said the corporation had conducted research and development for years to ensure that their plastic bags and food packages available for consumers were environmentally friendly.

“We have also suggested to the state government to look into a mechanism where the fee for yearly business licences could be reduced for hawkers adopting green packaging,” he said.

Badrul said the supplies for plastic bags and food packaging were sufficient as the plan to shift to environmentally-friendly materials was done a few years ago.

CM backs move to shame litterbugs in Malacca
The Star 30 Dec 15;

MALACCA: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron has thrown his support behind the city council’s proposal to shame litterbugs in Malacca, suggesting that repeat offenders should perhaps be made to do community work.

The “harsh” penalties were needed to maintain Malacca’s position as a major tourist destination, he said.

Apart from the idea of having a “hall of shame” displaying details of the offenders, The Star reported yesterday that the Malacca Historic City Council was seeking to make offenders walk around with placards saying “Don’t Mess With Malacca” for about 10 minutes.

At present, litterbugs face a RM500 fine, but under the proposals, which are slated to be discussed at the city council’s meeting next month, repeat offenders would be compounded a maximum of RM2,000.

Idris said the state authorities wanted to act against those who were ill-disciplined and kept dirtying the place.

He said he had asked the city council to rope in non-governmental organisations, tourism and hotel associations and other relevant parties for their input and ideas in drafting an “airtight” by-law that could be enforced against litterbugs.

“The feedback from stakeholders are crucial as the local council alone can’t execute the job of maintaining a high-level of cleanliness,” he said.

As for the proposal for repeat offenders to wear the placard, he said it was meant as a lesson to them.

“It is not our intention to insult anyone,” he said, adding however, that Malacca could not allow its popular spots to be marred with piles of rubbish.

“If the proposal for the placard over the neck is adopted, it will be an effective way to tell others that Malacca is serious about the situation.

“Let us look ahead. Malacca is getting an overwhelming volume of tourists,” he said, adding that it was thus crucial for the place to be clean.

Idris said he had received many reports about garbage thrown about everywhere especially during peak travel period.

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