Malaysian Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin has come out to say that the aim is to turn the country into a zero single-use plastic nation by 2030.
According to Bernama, Yeo said on Monday (Sept 24) that Malaysia will launch its “Road map towards zero single-use plastic 2018-2030” campaign next month,
The aim of the campaign is to reduce Malaysia’s plastic waste, including the policy on plastic straws in particular.
The first step, according to Yeo, is that plastic straws will only be issued only upon request by consumers, with plastic bags being the next item to reduce usage of.
She said at a town hall session to address single-use plastic usage: “The road map will include a policy on the charge for plastic bags at shops and where the money goes to.”
Yeo also added that 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, and the need for Malaysia’s islands like Sipadan and Redang to have better waste management.
She revealed that Malaysia ranked eighth globally in mismanaged plastic waste pollution, and is the fourth largest plastic exporter in the ASEAN region.
Yeo added: “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.”