PUTRAJAYA, Sept 24 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will launch its “Road map towards zero single-use plastic 2018-2030” next month which aims to reduce Malaysia's plastic waste including the policy on plastic straws nationwide during the International Greentech and Ecoproducts Exhibition Malaysia (IGEM) in Kuala Lumpur.
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said under the new roadmap, plastic straws usage will be by default where it will be given upon request by consumers.
"The road map will include a policy on the charge for plastic bags at shops and where the money goes to," she told reporters after a town hall session to address single-use plastic here today.
Yeo said the road map will list suggestions for hydrocarbon based plastic manufacturers in the country to switch to more eco-friendly products, including producing reusable straws.
"The roadmap is not a policy, like the ministry launching the roadmap today and ban plastic use tomorrow. The ministry doesn’t want to kill the plastic manufacturers but prepare them to produce more eco-friendly products. The ministry wants to help plastic manufacturers to grow with alternative (products)," she further said.
Recently, the Federal Territories Ministry announced that plastic straws will be banned in all the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan from Jan 1 next year and businesses which are still found to be using plastic straws in 2019 risk having their business licences terminated.
During the town hall session, Yeo told the participants that Malaysia ranked in eighth place in the world in mismanaged plastic waste pollution.
"Malaysia is the fourth largest plastic exporter in ASEAN and is ranked number 25 in global plastic exports in 2017," she said.
Among the suggestions brought up to Yeo during the townhall session was the need to have a better waste management in Malaysia's islands which are popular diving sites, including Sipadan and Redang.