Encourage consumers to kick the plastic bag habit, retailers urged

Lo Khere Chiang

By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, Jan 31: Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) is urging businesses to encourage their customers to use reusable shopping bags or recycled plastic bags to help protect the environment.

Its chairman, Lo Khere Chiang, said the council had embarked on a campaign to ban plastic bags while encouraging consumers and businesses under its jurisdiction to opt for the more environmental-friendly bags.

“We would like to encourage customers to bring their own reusable shopping bags or use recycled plastic bags.

“At the same time, the existing plastic bags should be re-used as many times as possible, especially for subsequent shopping trips,” he told reporters after chairing an MPP council meeting here today.

Lo, who is also Batu Kitang assemblyman, said the council had to dispose of thousands of kilogrammes of used plastic bags annually.

He reminded that discarded plastics are hazardous to the environment as well as life threatening to marine life and seabirds.

On MPP’s ban on styrofoam for food and drink packaging in January last year, Lo expressed hope that all coffee shop owners, restaurant, food stall and other premises abide by the ruling.

He said his enforcement personnel would carry out checks from time to time.

Meanwhile, on the four previously declared dengue areas at Arang Road, Jalan Field Force, Kampung Bratan and Kampung Simboh, Lo said only the first two said areas were still considered active dengue hotspots

In this regards, MPP is calling for a more concentrated effort from the public to keep their surroundings clean and to rid of any potential mosquito breeding ground.

“The council has carried out a lot of ‘gotong-royong’ activities, and we are calling residentials, villages, community associations, NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to carry out ‘gotong-royong’ programmes in their areas to help reduce the threat posed by dengue mosquitoes.

“Do get rid of containers that can become mosquito breeding habitats, such as plastic bottles and cans,” Lo said.

Homes or premises found with mosquitoes breeding grounds could face a maximum fine of RM500, he cautioned. — DayakDaily