There’s no denying that plastic bags are really convenient. However, their convenience comes at a very high cost to the environment and negatively affects the health of humans and animals alike.
Several countries have taken the step to completely ban plastic bags and it looks like Malaysia is one step closer to that. The Star reported that the federal government has stated that they want all states to begin imposing a pollution charge on plastic bags used in hypermarkets, chain stores and restaurants.
Hypermarkets and eateries will be given three years, starting 2019, to fully implement the initiative.
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Yeo Bee Yin, said that there’d also be a “no-straw default” position for eateries as the government is looking to cut down on single-use plastic waste.
The pollution charge will be imposed during Phase One of the ministry’s Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018-2030. The Roadmap, which was launched on Wednesday (17 Oct), will consist of three phases. Phase One runs from 2019 until 2021.
Speaking at the Roadmap launch, Yeo said, “The implementation of the charge, as well as the no-straw default, will be done according to the (readiness of) various states, as each has a different public awareness level.”
She also said that the government will be launching standards prepared by Sirim for biodegradable and compostable bags. So cool!
We can’t wait to say goodbye to you, plastic bags. We love our environment more than the convenience you give us.