The ‘No Plastic Bag Day’ initiative was kicked off in Selangor on 2nd January 2010 with the aim to encourage further reduction of plastic bag usage across the city.
Effective January 2010, every Saturday is a plastic bag-free day in Selangor.
Therefore, It better for the Shopper to make a Habit of using less plastic bags and bringing your own bags when shopping.
Customers who insist on plastic bags will have to pay between 10 sen to 20 sen per bag.
This program will help to save Malaysia’s environment by creating awareness among the public on the dangers of expansive use of plastic, reduce or minimize the plastic usage starting from shopping complexes by using recyclable shopping bags
Plastic Bags…"The Harsh Facts"
Consider the Following Shocking Facts About Plastic Shopping Bags:
- Plastic bags are made of polyethylene
- Polyethylene is a petroleum product
- Production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption
- Four to five trillion plastic bags are manufactured each year
- Americans use over 380 billion polyethylene bags per year
- Americans throw away approximately 100 billion polyethylene bags per year
- Of those 100 trillion plastic bags, 1% are recycled
- It takes 1000 years for polyethylene bags to break down
- As polyethylene breaks down, toxic substances leach into the soil and enter the food chain
- Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die per year by ingesting plastic bags
- Plastic bags are often mistaken as food by marine mammals. 100,000 marine mammals die yearly by eating plastic bags.
- These animals suffer a painful death, the plastic wraps around their intestines or they choke to death
- Plastic bag choke landfills
Let support ‘No Plastic Bag Day’ Campaign!
Negative Effects of Plastic Bags
We can lessen our environmental footprint by minimizing the use of plastic shopping bags.
If everyone do so, our world will become a Better, Cleaner, Safer Place for all living things
Shoppers caught unawares by ‘No Plastic Bag Day’ campaign
PETALING JAYA: Selangor’s first ‘No Plastic Bag Day’ on Jan 2 went by so quietly that many consumers, although applauding the move, were frustrated at being caught unawares.
The Selangor government had on Dec 20 declared its plans to make every Saturday a plastic bag-free day effective Jan 1.
Going green: Customers at Carrefour will need to pay 10 sen for a plastic bag if they insist on having one.
A senior executive who wished to be known as Raj said he had gone shopping at a hypermarket in Subang Jaya on Saturday, not knowing it was the first day of the campaign.
“At the counter, the cashier told me it was a ‘no plastic day’ and she would not give me plastic bags.
“There was no visible sign to announce about the campaign. As I had bought more than RM100 worth of groceries, she gave me a complimentary reusable shopping bag,” said Raj, who works in the shipping industry as a purchasing officer.
He added that the bag was not big enough to contain all the purchased items, and he had to cart the trolley to the car park and unload the items into his car boot.
“I support the campaign, but it should be made known to consumers. I saw many others caught by surprise at the cashier’s line.”
Carrefour public relations manager Salmieah Mohd Zin said there had been a few complaints from consumers at its stores but “it was a matter of educating the public.”
She added that most Carrefour stores in the Klang Valley have been plastic bag-free since last year and their target was to have no plastic bags in Carrefour Malaysia by 2012.
Customers who insist on plastic bags will have to pay 10 sen per bag.
However, Giant will only be implementing its “no plastic bag” days from Jan 9, said marketing manager Ho Mun Hao.
He said their stores in Penang had promoted the campaign well, with managers explaining the concept to customers.
“We will prepare carton boxes for customers to pack their things. Plastic bags will still be available at 20 sen but we will be selling reusable bags at RM1.99,” Ho added.
Cold Storage will also observe the ‘no plastic bag day’ on Saturdays. Currently, the stores do not give out plastic bags on Thursdays.
Convenience store chain 7-11 will also be starting its ‘no plastic bag’ campaign this Saturday, its website said.
Penang Declares Mondays "No Plastic Day"
he Penang government has declared every Monday as a "No Plastic Day" for the state beginning July 1.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today the ban by the state government on using plastic bags marked its serious commitment to achieving its goal of becoming a green state.
"Following consultation and dialogues with hypermarkets, supermarkets, mini markets, plastic manufacturer and NGOs, the ban on using plastic bags marks the serious commitment towards reducing the use of plastic bags," he told a news conference here.
He said that to encourage consumers to bring their own bags and reduce their dependency on the plastic bags, consumers would be charged 20 cents per bag on the "No Plastic Bag Day".
The proceeds would be donated for the state Hardcore Poverty Programme.
Lim said a survey conducted by the state government on six major groups of supermarkets and hypermarkets showed that as much as 25.2 million plastic bags were distributed in 2008.
Press Statement by Lim Guan Eng in Georgetown on Friday, 27th November 2009:
Extension of no plastic bags day to three days a week for hypermarkets, supermarkets, professional outlets/firms, chain stores and franchise stores, whereas all single retails stores are required to adopt no plastic Mondays from 1 Jan 2010
In our efforts to reshape Penang into the first “green” state in Malaysia, the Penang State Government launched a “No Plastic Mondays” initiative in July 2009. Based on the data provided by 45 super/hypermarkets and other participants, it is estimated that Penangnites have reduced plastic bags consumption by more than one million in four months from the “No Plastic Mondays” campaign since July 2009.
For those consumers who insist on plastic bags, they will be required to contribute 20 cents per plastic bag as a form of donation to the Penang State government “Partners Against Poverty” Fund to wipe out hard-core poverty in Penang. To date, we have also collected RM 21,403 from the charges of 20 cents per bags for the Partners Against Poverty Fund.
Penang has received tremendous support from the public from all walks of life for this ‘No Plastic Monday’ initiative. In fact some other states have begun to emulate Penang. We have discussed with all stakeholders including NGOs, public and plastic manufacturers on whether we should extend this campaign to reduce plastic bag consumption further.
After due deliberation, the State Government has decided to extend No Plastic Bags Day to three days a week for Hypermarkets, Supermarkets, Chain and Franchise Stores, Professional Outlets/firms starting from 1 Jan 2010. The 3 days will be from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and plastic bags will still be charged 20 cents each during those days. For the first time ever, all single retail stores will also be required to participate but only for one day a week in “No Plastic Mondays”.
Under Local Government Act 1976 Section 107(2) and Municipal Council of Penang Island (Food Establishments) By-laws 1991 by law 3 (5), local councils can impose specific conditions in the renewal of new licenses. They will be required to either abide by the “No Plastic Three Days” in a week or No Plastic Mondays where relevant if they want to get their license renewed. Those who are applying for new licences will also have to comply with this condition.
As for minimarkets and single outlets in shopping malls, in order to give more time to retail industry and consumers to adapt to the plastic bags reduction initiative, they will also need to comply with No Plastic Monday.
Prior to this, the 6 major groups of super/ hypermarkets in Penang distributed as much as 25.2 million pieces of plastic bag or 2.1 million pieces monthly in 2008. I remember when we first introduced this No Plastics initiative, some people have questioned me with doubt: “Is there Really an alternative to such a convenient product?” YES! Penangnites have proven this to be true.
In order to REDUCE the consumption of plastic bags, we now bring our own reusable bags. Some among us have even found simple, creative ways such as folding up a clean plastic bag into a triangle accessory to bring along for REUSE. To RECYCLE, we have also converted illegal banners into reusable bags.
The mantra of 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) has been put into practices through this initiative. But 3R can only be successful if you couple it with the 4th R and that is RESPONSIBILITY.
At the same time, the state government is also trying to address issues relating to effective, adequate and integrated solid waste management.
There are more than 44 other “No Plastic” countries or cities like Penang. We have become the first state in Malaysia to cut down on plastic bag consumption through such voluntary program. Even the Federal Government has announced that they will follow the suit.
All of us in this global community must realize the importance of preserving, protecting and promoting a clean and healthy environment not only for the investors, tourists and those who desires for sustainable living, but also for our future generation. We should feel proud that Penang is amongst 44 other countries and cities that stands out in contributing towards reducing climate change through reducing our carbon footprints in a direct and positive manner.