SIBU: Local councils in the state have been urged to follow the step taken by Sibu Municipal Council to do away with plastic straws as part of its green initiative.
Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil who made this call Friday said SMC has initiated ‘Say No to Plastic Straw’ in conjunction with its annual ‘Love Earth Day Campaign’.
The campaign will be launched on April 20 before full enforcement on Jan 1, 2020, he pointed out.
Based on a 2010 survey carried out in major towns in Sarawak, the composition of waste includes food perishables (35 per cent), paper (19 per cent), soft plastic (11 per cent), hard plastic (five per cent), garden waste (five per cent), disposable diapers (five per cent), glass (three per cent) and wood (two per cent), while the rest comprises metal and construction waste.
Penguang admitted that it may be tough to sell the ideas and implement new by-laws but said it has to be done to conserve the environment.
“It has to be done more so to mitigate environmental degradation. It is never too late. I believe that it is always cheaper to do it now then 10 years down the line,” the Marudi assemblyman said.
He also called for public support in initiatives to protect the environment.
Meanwhile, SMC deputy chairperson Rogayah Jamain said it is mandatory for eateries to do away with straws effective January 2020.
She said plastic straws can be replaced with biodegradable material or paper straw.
“Public are also advised to bring recyclable straw made of stainless steel, bamboo or glass,” she added.
The ban on plastic straws in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan began on Jan 1 this year.