Straws will only be issued upon request beginning 2019, says S’gor exco

SHAH ALAM: Plastic straws will no longer be given by default to consumers in eateries in Selangor beginning next year, and will only be provided upon request.

State Environment, Green Technology and Consumer committee chairman Hee Loy Sian (pix) said this was among the Selangor government’s efforts to reduce the use of plastic in the state, following its previous move to charge 20 sen for each plastic bag.

He added that while there are currently no plans to charge consumers for the plastic straws, the state might eventually impose a fee sometime in the future.

“From next year, plastic straws will not be given automatically, but by request from customers. The restaurant will also no longer place the straws on their counters.

“If you want a straw, then you will have to ask for it. But we won’t charge for them, we just won’t be giving them by default. Which is why we are encouraging patrons to bring their own stainless steel straws,“ he told the state legislative assembly, here, yesterday.

“But for the future, we will campaign more aggressively, where eventually, we will compound or charge those who use plastic straws,“ he added.

Hee was responding to questions from Leong Tuck Chee (PH-Pandamaran) and Shatiri Mansor (PH-Kota Damansara) on whether the state government intends to charge consumers on the use of plastic straws.

On a separate question whether Selangor has any plans to ban altogether the use of plastic bags in the state, Hee said the move would be implemented by 2030, in line with Malaysia’s Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastic 2018-2030.

“We will follow in the footstep of the federal government. We will do it in stages, and we have 11 more years to look for alternatives for plastic bags,“ he said.

He said while the plan was to initially implement it by 2025, it was impossible to do so as long as the state government fails to look for alternatives that could be produced in large volumes and cost as low as the plastic bags.

Hee added that Selangor was also considering rewarding customers who bring their own reusable bags and straws, including giving them free bus rides but said the matter needed to be discussed with the local authorities first.