Press statement: Misleading news headlines on Penang State No Plastic Bag Campaign.

Press statement by Ms Josephine Tan, General Manager of Penang Green Council on 29th March 2022

Penang Green Council is shocked and disgusted with the headlines of nation news column dated 29th March 2022 on “Penang Pauses Plastics Ban” and “Pulau Pinang Tangguh Larangan Penggunaan Beg Plastik”. These headlines are misleading and causing confusion towards the No Plastic Bag Campaign.

Penang is the first state in Malaysia to launch a state-wide initiative to reduce plastic bag usage. This initiative has successfully transformed public and business practices to reduce an enormous amount of 33 million of plastic bags since the birth of the No Free Plastic Bag campaign in 2009. With that said, The Penang State Government further enhanced the effort and announced No Plastic Bag Day every Monday to Wednesday and a RM 1.00 charge for shoppers from Thursday to Sunday starting 1sts January 2021. These campaigns have also been adopted as national guidelines.

The Penang State Government is using three phases to tackle the surge use of single-use plastic, which are Education & Awareness, Educational Enforcement (Notice & Warning) and Full Enforcement. Due lockdowns during the pandemic, there is an unavoidable sudden spike in the usage of single-use plastic and plastic packaging. It is very challenging to reduce the usage of single-use plastic especially in the e-commerce purchasing field during this trying times. It is understandable that extra packaging was used to ensure hygiene and as a safety precaution during home delivery. Despite the challenges, The State Government will continue our educational enforcement.  

The Penang State Government together with Penang Green Council will continue the effort to uphold the principle of reducing waste send to the Pulau Burung landfill and continue the No Single-Use Plastic campaign. We sincerely hope that with this clarification, any misconception will be immediately rectified for the society and environment.

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