‘No Free Plastic Bag’ campaign far from success, needs to be reviewed



THE ‘No Free Plastic Bag’ initiative started by Penang government since 2009 needs to be reviewed to ensure its effectiveness, according to state Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo.

He said the policy, which was implemented 10 years ago, was far from success.

Since the campaign started, a whopping RM8.9 million have been collected through the 20 sen payment per bag.

Jagdeep wants the public to do away with plastic material as part of state’s commitment.

“If that’s the case, is this initiative successful or not? People still keep on paying 20 sen to use plastic bags. How many millions of plastic bags have been sold until now?

“We are not looking into the collection but our aim is to create an awareness and deter people from using plastic bags.

“Fom what I see, I don’t think it’s successful and that’s why it needs to be reviewed,” said the Datok Keramat assemblyman after attending a gotong-royong event in his constituency at Solok York today.

Jagdeep added many other states have followed in Penang’s footsteps in introducing the programme.

Jagdeep holding sample of a plastic bag during a press conference.

State Environment, Welfare Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh had been reported as saying the state government was looking to increase the cost of plastic bag to 50 sen.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, nonetheless, stated more discussions would be held with stakeholders to gather their input.

Jagdeep also did not rule out the possibility that the increase would be more than 50 sen .

On housing related matters, Jagdeep also attended a dialogue session, organised by Penang Housing Network, at the Caring Society Complex.

He briefed those who attended the dialogue on the state’s commitment towards delivering affordable homes for Penangites.

Jagdeep briefs audiences during housing dialogue session at Welfare Complex in Jalan Utama.

He said many private developers were not in favour of him wanting them to comply with the state’s initiative in ensuring affordable units for people.

However, after a thorough explanation given to the developers, they have committed to build such units for those in need.

“We (state) will ensure the best for its people,” he added.

Jagdeep addressing the audiences at housing dialogue session.

In another development, Jagdeep told reporters that the state had identified Bukit Teh site on mainland as an alternative for Jelutong landfill.

He said they were now engaging with the operators involved and rushing to get the site on the mainland ready for demolition waste.

The Jelutong landfill will be closed down and turned into a mixed development site in few years’ time.

Story by Edmund Lee

Pix by Law Suun Ting