by Shauh Ho
PETALING JAYA: Selangor’s first ‘No Plastic Bag Day’ on Jan 2 went by so quietly that many consumers, although applauding
the move, were frustrated at being caught unawares.The Selangor government had on Dec 20 declared its plans to make every Saturday a plastic bag-free day effective Jan 1.
A senior executive who wished to be known as Raj said he had gone shopping at a hypermarket in Subang Jaya on Saturday, not knowing it was the first day of the campaign.“At the counter, the cashier told me it was a ‘no plastic day’ and she would not give me plastic bags.
“There was no visible sign to announce about the campaign. As I had bought more than RM100 worth of groceries, she gave me a complimentary reusable shopping bag,” said Raj, who works in the shipping industry as a purchasing officer.He added that the bag was not big enough to contain all the purchased items, and he had to cart the trolley to the car park and unload the items into his car boot.
“I support the campaign, but it should be made known to consumers. I saw many others caught by surprise at the cashier’s line.”Carrefour public relations manager Salmieah Mohd Zin said there had been a few complaints from consumers at its stores but “it was a matter of educating the public.”She added that most Carrefour stores in the Klang Valley have been plastic bag-free since last year and their target was to have no plastic bags in Carrefour Malaysia by 2012.
Customers who insist on plastic bags will have to pay 10 sen per bag.However, Giant will only be implementing its “no plastic bag” days from Jan 9, said marketing manager Ho Mun Hao.He said their stores in Penang had promoted the campaign well, with managers explaining the concept to customers.“We will prepare carton boxes for customers to pack their things. Plastic bags will still be available at 20 sen but we will be selling reusable bags at RM1.99,” Ho added.
Cold Storage will also observe the ‘no plastic bag day’ on Saturdays. Currently, the stores do not give out plastic bags on Thursdays.Convenience store chain 7-11 will also be starting its ‘no plastic bag’ campaign this Saturday, its website said.