New Straits Times, January 17, 2010
THE no plastic bag campaign should be carried out every day to reduce the use of non-biodegradable material, said Centre for Environment Technology and Development Malaysia chairman Gurmit Singh.
"People should start bringing their own shopping bags and stop using styrofoam containers for takeaways.
"It is a small step but has proven to be effective. Consumers should opt for this idea as it can change their lifestyle by not wasting things."
In interviews, most consumers agreed with the concept of extending the campaign every day as it will create awareness about saving the environment.
"I take a lot of initiatives in supporting this campaign by recycling and using organic products," says housewife Nur Sonia Abdullah,47.
According to K.J. Pestana, 71, the issue of garbage disposal is a big problem and the idea of charging customers 20 sen for each plastic bag will help reduce its consumption.
"It hurts our wallet but it is a great way to encourage people to bring their own bags.
"Supermarkets should provide recyclable bags because not everyone will remember to bring their own bags when they go shopping."
Airene Morrison,45, says it is not easy to drastically reduce plastic use.
"However, we are trying our best to support this cause," she adds.
There are also those who feel that a daily implementation of the policy could be burdensome.
Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia's Muhammad Sha'ni Abdullah argues that adopting this practice on a daily basis might be unfair to those with a low income.
At the same time, he says, this campaign is a necessary push for people to adopt sustainable practices.
University student, Khairuldin Izzuddin, 23, says it is not practical to implement such a practice because in the long run, it would not be that effective.