Educate public on 3Rs, say plastic manufacturers.
Educating the public on the importance of the 3Rs (recycle, reuse and reduce) should take top priority instead of implementing the “No free plastic bags” initiative, said the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA).
MPMA Penang chairman Tan Wee Ming feels that plastic bags have been wrongfully portrayed as the major culprits in polluting the environment.
“Plastic bags are not bad for humans and if used wisely, it does not cause pollution,” he said.
He added that people still need to use plastic bags as garbage bags so the “no free plastic bags” initiative will only inconvenience the public as they have to pay the 20 sen for the plastic bags or buy garbage bags.
He told theSun that plastic manufacturers in Penang have suffered a drop of 30% in sales after the state government implemented the “no free plastic bags” initiative from Mondays to Wednesdays.
“We are expecting even worsening sales after Jan 1 when the initiative is implemented daily,” he said.
Tan said MPMA Penang had launched a 3Rs campaign together with the “Addressing the Myths on Plastic Bags” awareness campaign to educate the public about plastic bags.
“We want the public to know that plastic bags are not bad,” he said.
As part of the campaign, a total of 180,000 free plastic bags will also be distributed to the public through news vendors over the next six week period.
The MPMA Penang will also be going to schools to give talks on the 3Rs and present facts on the benefits of plastic bags.
“We are not launching a war against the state government or any party. We are just doing our part to educate the public on the 3Rs and on plastic bags,” Tan said.
The MPMA Penang has a total 155 members in Penang.
From Jan 1, all hypermarkets, supermarkets and chain stores will not be providing free plastic bags.
Consumers who ask for plastic bags will need to pay 20 sen for each bag and the funds collected will go towards the state government’s anti-poverty programme.
This is part of the state government’s green initiative for a cleaner, greener Penang.