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No more plastic bags in Sibu supermarkets

Plastic bags will soon be a thing of the past in major supermarkets in Sibu.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) decided at this year’s last full council meeting yesterday that the “Say no to plastic bag” campaign should not just be observed once a week, and it wanted supermarkets to take the lead in changing mindsets.

However, the commencement date will be decided in another meeting soon.

Currently, 60 businesses are participating in the campaign, which started on Nov 15, 2009. They would not give out plastic bags on Monday and instead, charged 20 sen for each plastic bag if a shopper insisted on using them.

All 26 SMC councillors yesterday agreed that the campaign be carried on a daily basis.

Public health, environment and municipal services standing committee chairman councillor Tong Hing Lee had brought the matter up for the council to decide after discussions with the participating businesses on whether the campaign should be observed daily came to a dead end.

The councillors were unanimous in their decision and SMC was urged to give a one-month grace period to the supermarkets to adjust to the new ruling.

Councillor Christopher Adrian added that with the new measure, the mindset of the younger generation could be changed to become more environment-friendly.

“There are presently still a lot of people who dump used plastic bags like there is no tomorrow,” he said.

The people of Sibu generate an average of 130 tonnes of refuse of which 15% are plastic materials. The move to reduce the use of plastic bags will lighten the load on the public sanitary landfill at Jalan Kemuyang.

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