Sibu Municipal Council considering banning single-use plastic bags at markets

Clarence Ting

SIBU, April 20: The Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) is considering prohibiting the use of single-use plastic bags at all markets under its jurisdiction, citing environmental conservation as a primary reason.

SMC chairman Clarence Ting highlighted this as a crucial step towards environmental preservation.

“When you go shopping, especially ladies, bring your own reusable bags. Avoid bringing home plastic bags. In many countries, a single plastic bag costs RM2, one euro, or US$1. Perhaps SMC and SRDC should encourage supermarkets to cease providing plastic bags to customers. We can begin with our markets,” he stated at the launch of the Love Earth Day campaign today.

Ting also encouraged the public to use their own water bottles instead of relying on single-use plastic bottles.

“Avoid single-use plastic bottles. Bring your own bottle when you go out. We need to encourage companies like Moma to install water dispenser machines around town for refilling water,” Ting suggested.

He emphasised that adopting such practices could significantly reduce plastic waste.

Ting also called on companies and NGOs to refrain from distributing bottled water at their events.

“Last year at the Big Bike event, I urged the organisers to stop distributing bottled water and instead provide refillable bottles. The council will also consider prohibiting vendors at the annual Borneo Cultural Festival from selling bottled water,” he added.

Ting highlighted the detrimental effects of plastic bag and bottle dumping, particularly in areas like Kampung Datu and Kampung Hilir near the riverbank.

“In Sibu, we face challenges, especially in Kampung Datu and Kampung Hilir, where plastic items are discarded into the river, ultimately ending up in these villages. Residents are unfairly blamed for this,” he explained.

Ting noted that SMC was the first local authority in the State to ban the use of styrofoam food containers in all food outlets, effective Jan 1, 2014.

The council had also prohibited eateries from providing plastic straws.

“Ten years ago, Sibu stopped using plastic straws. We should take pride, as Kuching is now following our lead,” Ting remarked. — DayakDaily