noble intention, poor implementation
Selangor\'s consumers are happy with the plastic bag ban since January 1, although they feel they need more time to adapt.
Others, however, believe that more people are needed to recognize why a ban is necessary.
According to a survey by Malay Mail, cashiers at hypermarkets are informing shoppers of new rules.
The cashier also posted a sign to inform customers of the 20 Sen fee for plastic bags.
Some shops offer free cartons and sell non-reusablewoven bags (RM3. 50)
And cloth bags (RM18. 90).
Atiqah Abidin, a 28-year-old financial executive who came to zigongbak, said she fully supported the initiative because she could do her part in protecting the environment.
\"I have recycled bags and containers in my car,\" she said . \"
\"The challenge is to remind myself to bring bags and containers when shopping so that I don\'t have to pay 20 for each plastic bag I buy,\" she said . \".
Selamat Yahabib, a 31-year-old stall operator, praised the government for the move, but said consumers needed to be aware of the purpose.
Not everyone is aware of the environmental risks posed by plastic.
\"The government needs to solve this problem, otherwise we will not achieve much in the end.
Chen Tan Bao, a 56-year-old housewife, said she now has to come up with extra money to buy plastic bags for garbage.
\"It takes time for consumers to adapt to grocery purchases without using plastic bags,\" she said . \".
\"I support this initiative, but it would be better if the government put pressure on businesses to provide paper bags.
Shirley Chan 74, another housewife from Petaling Jaya, said it was troublesome to bring many reusable bags, especially when she was not sure how much groceries she would buy.
Elizabeth Huang, chairman of the National Commission on tourism, environment, green technology and consumer affairs, said retailers, traders and even consumers have enough time to adapt to the ban.
\"The charge for plastic bags is to stop people from using them,\" she said . \".
\"Education and awareness are just as important as law enforcement, and we are promoting this widely to encourage the public to switch to reusable alternatives.
\"The 20 sen fee is recorded as a transaction, as with all the other products purchased from the retailer, it goes to the retailer.
\"We encourage them to direct it to environmental philanthropy and conservation,\" she said . \".
Datuk Nadzim Johan, chairman of the Malaysian Muslim consumer association, said the move was good, but a mechanism was needed to monitor the sales revenue of plastic bags.
Even if consumers pay the RM1 of 5 plastic bags in one day, the total amount collected will be thousands, if not millions, he said.
\"What happens with the money collected from selling plastic bags?
Who gets it, what is it? ” he asked.
The consumer association of President Jacob George of subon and Shah Alam expressed the same view.
\"The state should put it on the record and clarify the arrangements with shopping malls and supermarkets,\" he said . \".
\"Consumers now know nothing about what will happen with the money.
What happened to all the discussions about transparency?
This is also important for consumer protection.
George urged that information be available to all.
\"We took the first step in banning plastic bags, which is good. But what next?
There are other aspects to this issue.
The authorities must have a long-termterm plan.
\"It\'s an environmental issue and I don\'t understand why everyone can\'t get the information,\" he said . \".
Consumer groups have repeatedly tried to seek state clarification on the issue, but they have not received feedback, George said.