Malaysia: Pack up and leave! Alor Star to phase out usage of polystyrene packaging

EMBUN MAJID New Straits TImes 29 Dec 16;

ALOR STAR: The Alor Star City Council (MBAS) today launched a campaign to reduce the usage of polystyrene materials for food and drink packaging here beginning next year.

MBAS secretary Hakim Ariff Md Noor said the campaign focuses on all types of eatery outlet operators, including restaurants and night market traders.

He said polystyrene packaging is widely used by eatery outlet operators and night market traders in the city, and the material is among the major contributors to the city's landfill in Jabi, Pokok Sena.

Hakim said the council will be organising talks and campaigns, with help from SWCorp Malaysia, to educate eatery operators on the dangers to the environment posed by polystyrene materials.

“We want to reduce the usage polystyrene packaging in the city, and replace it with bio-degradable material,” he told newsmen after launching the campaign today.

Hakim added that the campaign will pave the way towards achieving MBAS’ long-term vision of cultivating a greener Alor Star.

Negri to continue using plastic bags
The Star 30 Dec 16;

SEREMBAN: Negri Sembilan has decided not to follow the “zero plastic bag” campaign so as not to burden the people.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Moha­mad Hasan said the state government, on the other hand, preferred to educate the public on recycling to protect the environment.

“If we do away with plastic (bags), the people have to pay (to get bags). This will be burdensome to them.

“In Negri Sembilan, we don’t want to add to the people’s burden but educate them on recycling,” he was quoted as saying in a Bernama report after chairing a state executive council meeting at Wisma Negeri here on Wednesday.

He was earlier asked by reporters if the state government would follow in the footsteps of the Selangor state government which is banning the use of plastic bags and polystyrene containers from Sunday.

Mohamad said the implementation of the “zero plastic bag” policy or campaign would only enable other quarters to profit.

“The supermarkets and business owners can make money by selling plastic bags which should be given for free. It’s up to them, I will not emulate it,” he said.

In Johor, the Johor Baru Municipal Coun­cil (MBJB) said it would stop using polystyrene food containers during its events.

The move, which takes effect immediately, is in line with the state government’s plan to use only biodegradable food containers in Johor from 2018.

Johor Baru mayor A. Rahim Nin said this would help underscore the message on using biodegradable food containers.

“MBJB will be taking a strict approach. All caterers or food ope­rators involved in our programmes or activities will not be using non-biodegradable products,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Rahim said MBJB would also en­­courage the use of biodegradable food containers among business owners and food operators in Johor.

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