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Expatriates give thumbs up to green ruling Print E-mail
Friday, 05 November 2010 19:51

WHILE expatriates have lauded the move to ban plastic shopping bags in Penang, locals seemed a bit apprehensive about the ruling which will take effect from Jan 1.

Rebecca South, 44, from England, said the ban would help to reduce pollution as plastics took a long time to disintegrate.

“It’s also a way to make people aware of the recycling habit,” said the postgraduate student who had been staying in Penang for two years.

South, who brings her own bag when shopping, said she bought it for about RM12 and it could be folded to fit into her pouch.

“If I don’t use the bag, the supermarket like Cold Storage provides cardboard boxes for me to put my groceries. The boxes are useful when I need to sort out items for recycling,” she noted.

South cited the example of the Sainburys retail store chain in England where customers needed to buy a recyclable bag only once.

“If it gets worn out, they’ll replace a new one for us,” said South, who shops at least three times a week for groceries.

Jean Bagwell, 66, also from England, believes it is a good idea to use less plastic bags as so much plastic is being used.

“Almost everything else is already wrapped in plastic. I have my own cloth bag too but sometimes I forget to bring it.

“Or if I’m out on an emergency shopping trip, the supermarket will provide boxes for us to put our items,” she said.

Bagwell who is residing in Penang under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, said the habit of using paper bags should be encouraged.

Her husband, Peter Bagwell, 65, was seen carrying two boxes containing their purchased items.

For 32-year-old Mazlifah Osman, the move is laudable but the mother of three wishes for the 20 sen plastic bag charge to be reduced.

“Sometimes, I do my shopping at the spur of the moment and don’t have my recyclable bags with me,” she said, adding there was once she paid RM1.20 just for plastic bags.

“I support the ban but 20 sen is too expensive,” she said.

Mazlifah urged the state to ensure that the ruling’s implementation was consistent.

“If you want the ban to be successful, you must make sure that all outlets charge their customers for the plastic bags, otherwise the public won’t take it seriously,” she said.

Housewife Catherine Chin, 55, from Tanjung Bungah, said she had never bought plastic bags and always made use of the free ones received at the supermarket.

“Maybe the ruling should be only two days a week instead of every day.

“Also, if there are young children at home, we will need those plastic bags to throw used diapers,” she said.

Indrani Steven, 45, feels that the move would pose some problems as it would be difficult to remember to bring along a shopping bag each time she goes shopping.

“If less plastic bags are given, there’ll also be less for us to use for throwing rubbish,” she added.

Source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2010/11/4/north/7357763&sec=north



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