Read this report on TheStar online today that 1,580 people may eventually lose their job due to Penang's Government intended ruling of no plastic bag ruling from 1st January 2011. We all know that finding job these days is not easy but lets look into a broader dimension of the ruling. All over the world are calling for Save Nature and at one time or another something has to be done to answer that call. Chloroflourocarbon (CFC) has been one of the cause of the depletion of the ozone layer in the atmosphere and steps are taken to reduce the rate of depletion and one of them is reducing CFC usage and maybe production too. Do you think reducing this will affect people who work in factory that produces such chemicals?
Plastics will take years to disintegrate and might not disintegrate at all. The more plastic we use and throw away will be additional years of disintegration of plastics which will add more problem to nature. Maybe we have been very comfortable of plastic bags for its light, easy and practical usage and we don't seem want to part away with it. But looking into the consequences and after effect of usage we must get out of this comfort zone at one time or another. The faster the better to conserve nature and our future generations. Campaign of proper disposal will not work because most of these campaign falls into deaf ears.
The action taken by two state government Selangor and Penang should be praised for they are looking towards the future and not present. We can't do anything now regarding damages caused by the use of non degradable materials but we can do something to reduce the impact and steps has to be taken now. It might be a harsh ruling but we have to accept it for the future of nature and our generations.
The concern of Malaysian Plastic Manufacturers Association (Northern Branch) do have some basis on loss of employment but the time frame given by the Penang Government gives ample time for these 1,580 people to look for another job. Are we going to save jobs of 1,580 people or our kids and millions of future generations of human lives, flora and fauna? These 1,580 people can start looking for alternatives of venturing into the biodegradable material market as a replacement of plastic. Please be more open to changes.
The article as published in The Star.
By ANN TAN
GEORGE TOWN: Some 1,580 people may eventually lose their jobs as a result of the expansion of the no plastic bag ruling in Penang from Jan 1.
Malaysian Plastic Manufac turers Association northern branch chairman Willy Tan said he expected those employed in the plastic bag manufacturing line by its members to lose their jobs.
“When consumers are not using our plastic bags every day next year, these jobs will vanish,” Tan said during a dialogue between 12 association representatives and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at the latter’s office in Komtar yesterday.
Merit Industries Sdn Bhd director E.E. Lim, whose company is a major plastic bag producer in Kamunting, said her sales to three hypermarkets in Penang had dropped from six million bags monthly to only three million.
“What are we going to eat when Penangites are no longer using plastic bags? The 20 sen penalty may be a small amount but it is not cheap to some people,” she said, referring to the amount shoppers had to pay for a plastic bag.
Association president Lim Kok Boon said the ruling would only burden the poor as they would have to pay 40 sen for each garbage bag to discard their rubbish.
“A shopping bag costs four sen each and they used to get it for free from hypermarkets and supermarkets. In the absence of plastic carrier bags, consumers will have to pay for bin liners and this will increase the usage of garbage bags.
“A study in Ireland, the first country to stop giving out free plastic bags, found a 90% drop in plastic bag usage in one month but the usage of garbage bags increased by 400% instead,” he said.
Kok Boon said plastic shopping bags were also more convenient for consumers to tie up their garbage.
Guan Eng asked the association for a report on the possible impact of the ruling to the industry, adding that Penang wanted to know the amount of reduction in revenue and job losses.
“We are not banning plastic bags but we want Penangites to reduce their usage. This is a policy we must undertake and I don’t deny it’ll be a political cost to us,” he said, adding that consumers would take as many shopping bags as they pleased when they were free but being charged for it would make them think of the costs involved.
All hypermarkets, supermarkets, departmental stores, pharmacies, fast food restaurants, nasi kandar outlets and convenience stores, including chain stores and those at petrol kiosks, in Penang will have to adhere to the ruling daily from Jan 1 next year.