Sunday, November 28

Wee: Ban on single-use plastic straws to be enforced starting April

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Wee speaking to reporters. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: A ban on single-use plastic straws will be fully enforced in Kuching South starting April 1 this year, says Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng.

He added that a trial run campaign would kick off on March 1, following a recent meeting with coffee shop and eatery outlet operators.

“During the meeting with coffee shop and eatery outlet operators, we agreed that we would start a trial run on March 1 and fully enforce the ban on April 1. This will give them time to clear their stock in that time frame,” Wee said when met after the launching ceremony of Visit Malaysia 2020 stickers for tourist buses and coaches at the MBKS foyer earlier today.

He explained that it was imperative to educate and create awareness about not using single-use straws before fully enforcing the ban.

“We will start with the campaign for the public and the coffee shop and eatery outlets operators to give them sufficient time to understand this enforcement. At the moment, we are thinking of catchy slogans that would make people realise the danger of single-use plastic straws and plastic in general, such as ‘Five minutes in your drink, 500 years in the ocean’.

“Play your role and say no to plastic straws. I think the slogan will explain to people that it is unnecessary to have single-use plastic straws,” Wee said.

Meanwhile, when asked to comment about Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) taking the lead on enforcement on Feb 1, Wee said that he had actually discussed with its chairman on the issue and came to a common understanding on the ban’s implementation.

“If possible the date of enforcement should be uniform; meaning if you want to implement it and that is the penalty you want to enforce, put it throughout the state so that it will be easier and systematic. If you break the rules, the penalty should be the same.

“I think if we take RM50 penalty as a guideline, I think the other councils need to agree with it as well. The most important thing is to get the message across and raising the awareness,” Wee said.

On Feb 1, SMC Public Health, Environment and Municipal Services Standing Committee chairperson Rhoda Ting said that a RM50 compound would be issued on the spot to any errant eatery operator still providing single-use plastic straws to customers.

Recently, SMC Public Health, Environment and Municipal Services standing committee chairperson, Rhoda Ting had said that SMC enforcement officers will issue RM50 compound to eatery owners caught using plastic straws starting February 1 including to confiscate the plastic straws.

Since enforcement for the ‘Say No to Plastic Straws’ campaign in Sibu, 85 per cent compliance rate was achieved.