All states accept plastic bag pollution load RM0.20

If you live in Selangor, Pulau Pinang or Johor, you will be used to paying 20 sen for plastic bags when shopping or bringing your own bag, plastic or otherwise, in advance. It looks like other states in the country will also have to do the same at some point in the future. Indeed, all state governments have agreed to implement the pollution tax on plastic bags.

Bernama cites a statement by Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man that the ministry “got the mandate from the 76th meeting of the National Council of Local Governments to impose the levy.” It also says that “several other states are considering beginning to implement this campaign,” starting with consumer education before collecting the minimum 20-sen charge. The inclusion of the word “minimum” suggests that there may be chargeable price increases.

While all of that said, there is no date yet when each state will begin enforcing the 20 sen charge for plastic bags. At least, for states that haven’t implemented it yet anyway.

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Source: Trash hunters / Flickr.

Tuan Ibrahim also said that the initiative has been in place since 2021 and is effective in reducing plastic pollution in the country. Although the 20 sen charge for plastic bags has been around for a bit longer than that. At the very least, as far as Selangor State is concerned, this is something that has been in place since 2017.

According to a 2019 New Straits Times report, the state government started collecting the 20 sen tax on plastic bags at local supermarkets and hypermarkets. This is so that the State can better monitor and ensure that the money thus collected is channeled into a special fund. This is then used for programs related to corporate social responsibility, planting trees, or providing consumers with recyclable shopping bags.

(Source: Bernama, NST)

Bryce K. Locke