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Plastic waste, particularly single-use plastics, has been identified as one of the issues that the Government wish to tackle and resolve. According to a statistic published by the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation, Ministry of Development, plastic wastes make up 16% of the total waste composition disposed to our landfill, making it one of the top three (3) major waste category after food waste and paper waste. As such, the No Plastic Bag Weekend Initiative was introduced in 2011 to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated and disposed to our landfill and at the same time to encourage the use of reusable bags and switching to a more sustainable lifestyle.

During this this year’s legislative council meeting, the Minister of Development also resonated His Majesty’s call for an integrated approach to combat the ongoing issue of waste and litter in the country during his address to the cabinet ministers early this year, by announcing the addition of another day to make it 4 days without the use of plastic bags and the target of reducing waste generation in the country from 1.4 kg/person/day to 1.0 kg/person/day by the year 2035.

Seeing how this fits timely with the themes on combatting plastic waste, the Ministry of Development via Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation has expanded the ‘No Plastic Bag Weekend Initiative’. This is also aligned with the positive and encouraging response from the general public in a public survey conducted in 2015 on their views of the No Plastic Bag Weekend Initiative. The results are as follows:

80% of the respondents supports the No Plastic Bag Weekend Initiative and is of the view that it is a good initiative rather than a burden
20% of the respondents indicated that they use their reusable bags every single day, not just during the weekends.
52% of the respondents preferred to add Thursdays first for the expansion of the Initiative, to followed by addition of Wednesday, Tuesday and Monday accordingly
64% of the respondents are aware of the negative impacts of using plastic bags and supports the idea of stopping the usage completely

Setiap Hari Tanpa Beg Plastik.jpgFollowing that, the ‘No Plastic Bag Weekend Initiative’ was then further expanded to the ‘No Plastic Bag Everyday Initiative’ on the 19th April 2018, with the addition of Thursday in conjunction with this year’s Earth Day celebration fitting with the theme ‘End Plastic Pollution’ (addition of Wednesday, Tuesday and Monday was done phase-by-phase i.e. Wednesday by 11th July, Tuesday by 2nd October and Monday by 31st December). With the slogan ‘It Takes a Nation to End Plastic Pollution’, this expansion was aimed towards zero plastic carrier bags in participating stores by 1st January 2019.

Prepared by: Department of Enviroment, Parks and Recreation

Published Date: 2018