GEORGE TOWN: The state government will continue with its ‘No Free Plastic Bag’ policy despite objections from some traders.
State Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the traders who were not keen to implement the 20 sen charge per plastic bag should come and see him personally.
“We will try to accommodate them as we want them to be part of the movement for a better future,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Phee said those who did not want to implement it could instead provide their customers with paper bags for free.
“We have no problem with that. Customers who forget to bring their cloth bags and have to pay the 20 sen, can reuse the plastic bags the next time as well.
“We are now considering increasing the thickness of the plastic bags from 15 micron to 40 micron to make them hardy,” he said.
Phee also said that traders registered under the policy should display a certificate and a poster to inform the public about the ‘No Free Plastic Bag’ policy.
On Friday, Phee said those who did not comply with the policy would be violating the terms and conditions of their licence.
Penang Island City Council Licensing and Public Health Standing Committee alternate chairman Ong Ah Teong said the concerns raised by the traders and customers would be addressed in a press conference today.
The Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Operators Association (Presma) when contacted said they were hoping to have a meeting with the council to discuss the matter.
“We want to urge them to postpone the implementation as the enforcement comes too soon.
“We think it is a very good effort as it is for the betterment of the environment but we cater also to the lower-income group where sometimes even a few sen count,” said its deputy president Thoulath Ameer Hamzah .
The ‘No Free Plastic Bag’ policy was enforced from Saturday for all traders except petty hawkers and those at wet markets.
It was earlier reported that the fees collected from the plastic bags would be channelled to the state’s Agenda Ekonomi Saksama programme to help the needy.-thestar