Plastic Waste Continues to Rise Despite 20-sen Bag Charge

Consumers in Selangor Among Highest Users of Plastic Bags in Malaysia

To help eliminate plastic bags by 2025, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change (NRECC) implemented a 20-sen charge for shoppers who do not bring their own recyclable bags.

Last month, NRECC Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the government plans to target zero use of plastic bags across Malaysia in the next two years, as government news portal Bernama reported on June 6.

According to the report, plastic waste in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya alone accumulated 210,996 tonnes of trash in 2022. Meanwhile, consumers from Selangor have demonstrated a reasonably high dependence on plastic bags, with RM6.6 million based on the payments made in 2020. It continued to rise to RM8.5 million in 2021, while RM4.8 million was recorded in the first half of 2022.

In an interview with Bernama, Universiti Tenaga Nasional Associate’s Nanoarchitectonic Lab Head and Associate Professor Dr. Halina Misran suggested the government may also offer incentives or tax reductions for manufacturing and consumer industries to support its zero-plastic policy.

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