A pollution charge of 20 sen will be implemented in the Federal Territories, effective March 15, said Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad.
He said its implementation would be in line with the government’s objective to address pollution of plastic waste through a Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018-2030, helmed by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC).
"MESTECC also allows all state governments, as well as Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan to impose pollution charge of 20 sen for each plastic bag used by consumers during shopping.
"The charge is only imposed for a biodegradable plastic bag, while enforcement action continues against traders and hawkers who still use conventional plastic bags,” he said in a statement today.
Khalid said the approach, "polluter pays principle", is intended to enhance awareness among Malaysians on expenses incurred by the government to clean plastic pollution.
It is also to make them aware of the green initiatives and ensure a sustainable environment, he added.
Khalid said since the use of biodegradable products was introduced in the Federal Territories, there had been a good response from traders and hawkers.
He said it is the ministry’s hope that it will be well-received by the people towards making a success of the Federal Territories’ Green Technology Development initiative.
“You are encouraged to bring your own bag for shopping as it is easier, and for those buying takeaway food, they are encouraged to bring their own containers,” he said, adding that the ban on the use of plastic drinking straws would be enforced in January 2020.