Shoppers in Pahang to use own bags on Saturdays.
KUANTAN: Saturdays are “No Plastic Bag Day” in Pahang.
Ten supermarkets and hypermarkets in the state will stop using plastic bags for their customers on Saturdays.
Shoppers will have to fork out 20 sen for each bag if they want one. The campaign, which begins today, would be extended to three days a week later on, said state Local Government, Environment and Health Committee chairman Datuk Hoh Khai Mun.
“Our objective is to make it a habit among the people to use re-cycled bags for their daily shopping,” he told reporters after launching the state-level campaign at the Tunas Manja Transit Point supermarket, here, yesterday.
Hoh said plastic takes between 25 and 100 years to decompose, while solid wastes such as glass and paper could be recycled.
He also said waste management was costly because it costs at least RM1mil to prepare an acre of landfill.
“If residents reduce their use of plastic bags, then there is no need to have a big sanitary landfill to handle the waste.
“The Kuantan landfill is 50ha and it’s almost half-full already. We have another 11 to 15 years to go before it’s full.
“We need to look for a new area,” he added.
Hoh said the state government had received a lot of proposals on waste disposal methods, but most were deemed unsuitable because they could be affected by the weather, while funding was also difficult.
“However, we are still open to ideas.”
Hoh said health-related incidents such as the one in Lubuk Yu, Maran, could have been prevented if the environment was cleansed of plastic waste.
In that incident, six villagers who had helped to recover a drowning victim at a recreational forest died due to leptospirosis bacteria infection and melioidosis.
Leptospirosis is present in rat urine while melioidosis is a water-and earth-borne bacteria.