KUALA LUMPUR, The 20 sen pollution charge should not be borne by consumers only, but should be equally shared by traders for making a profit from the sale of plastic bags, said the Malaysian Islamic Consumers Association (PPIM).
Preferably, traders should bear the pollution charge, but because the government wishes to raise awareness among consumers, I think it’s not wrong for it to be shared equally between them, PPIM chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan told Bernama when contacted.
According to Nadzim, traders should be made to pay 10 sen of the pollution charge and consumers the other 10 sen or whichever method was suitable.
He said this when commenting on the government’s move to impose a 20 sen pollution charge for the use of biodegradable plastic bags in the Federal Territory from March 15.
This is to raise understanding among the public about government spending on cleaning up plastic waste in line with the ‘Malaysian roadmap towards a zero single-use plastics 2018-2030’, thus creating an awareness of green initiatives and ensuring environmental sustainability.
Meanwhile, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA) deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman described the move to impose pollution charges as an alternative to raising awareness among consumers in the use of biodegradable bags, which are said to be easily disposable and environmentally friendly.
However, he stressed that if the government was serious about overcoming the use of plastic bags, drastic decisions needed to be made, such as banning the sale of plastic bags and requiring consumers to use recycled bags.
I don’t see how raising awareness by imposing charges for the use of plastic bags can solve the problem because Selangor has implemented this for the last two years, yet consumers are willing to pay instead of bringing along recycled bags when shopping, he said.