Malaysia: RM2,000 fine for violating ban on plastic, polystyrene use by Sept 1

The Star 30 Dec 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: Beginning Sept 1 next year, traders who violate the ban on the use of plastics and polystyrene will face a compound of up to RM2,000, Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan said.

This follows the implementation of the use of biodegradable products from this Sunday.

Loga Bala said the ministry was giving city folks nine months to get used to the idea before implementing it fully.

"We are targeting making Kuala Lumpur a plastic-free city. I am encouraging the people to stop using plastic, when shopping please bring your own bag," he said in a press conference held on the implementation of the use of biodegradable products here Friday.

He said the ministry had informed the traders and night market associations of the ruling and obtained the cooperation of the biodegradable products suppliers to meet the needs of the traders and consumers.

"Biodegradable products are usually expensive...(but) from our talks with the suppliers, they have agreed to offer a fair wholesale price to the traders which is on par with the price of polystyrene and plastic," he said.

Loga Bala said the pro-active move by the ministry was aimed at increasing the public's awareness of the threat of polystyrene and plastic to health, while boosting the development of the biodegradable product industry.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor launched the use of biodegradable products on June 3 this year.

Commenting on the ban, co-owner of the Chat Masala Brickfields and Klang Restaurant, N.Palaniappan said it would replace polystyrene containers with biodegradable ones in stages.

"We understand the disadvantages of the polystyrene is cancerous, so we will replace them with environment-friendly containers for our customers.

"Even though the price of these containers are more than polystyrene ones, we do not mind using them...the price of food will remain the same, our profit margin may reduce, but we will not lose," he told Bernama when contacted here today.

He said the restaurant had received a notice from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall to use the biodegradable products.

Meanwhile, a night market trader in Pantai Dalam who only wanted to be known as Kadir said the ban on plastic use in night markets would be difficult to enforce as consumers were more 'plastic-friendly'.

"They may have to bring their own paper or cloth bags to the night market, the implementation will definitely take a long time," he said. - Bernama