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Zuraida targets nationwide plastic bag ban within a year

INTERVIEW | Newly appointed Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin has set her sights on banning plastic bags around the country within the space of a year.

However, as she said in an interview with Malaysiakini, the government can only introduce such a policy when the people understand the rationale behind the move.

Zuraida believes that awareness levels are still low, despite Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor, Malacca and Johor enforcing their own bans on petroleum-based plastic bags.

"Even then, the awareness and the understanding of the reason why (the government) wants to do it is very low.

"Malaysians still have the attitude of wanting everything so easy, they want to have plastic bags so they can bring their items home," she said.

As such, Zuraida’s priority is to educate the public before introducing the policy nationwide.

"Give us time to have public engagements and educational programmes.

"In terms of no plastic bags, people have heard about it, a few states have started it. Maybe it can be implemented faster.”

Asked how soon a plastic bag ban can be expected, she said: “Give me like within a year”...

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