The Selangor state imposed a 20 cent charge rate for plastic bags not because it wants to earn extra revenue but it was a deterrent strategy to reduce the usage of the environment damaging material.
However if the campaign continues to see increase in collection it would mean it had failed says State Exco Hee Loy Sian and perhaps a higher charge rate should be imposed. The plastic-free campaign which has been in effect for several years imposes a small token fee from people who do not bring their own bags when purchasing items at any of the large chain supermarkets, however smaller retailers and food outlets had been seen to continue to give them out.
According to Sian, in 2020 the State collected over RM6.6 million, whereas for this year until June it had collected over RM2.5 million, he reiterated that if the collection rate increases every year, it would mean that they have failed to increase social awareness on the usage of plastic.
“We increase the charge so as to encourage society to no longer use plastic bags, so as to preserve the environment. Those who still insist on doing so, we will increase the charge rate,”
The exco added that 60 per cent of the collection from the plastic bags charge rate is provided to the state government, while the remainder is handed over to the local authorities.
“The monies collected is placed into a trust fund which will be used to implement community programmes, as well as benefit the rakyat,” he said.
Beginning on January 2017, traders and businesses in Selangor no longer provided plastic bags for free, and were ordered to stop using disposable containers and polystyrene tools at all premises.