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Kemaskini Pada: 7 Dis 2019
Versi 8.2.2
Single-use straws banned in Sibu from Jan 1 next year
Tarikh : 22 Nov 2019  Sumber Berita: Borneo Post Online (Peter Boon)
 


Ting (sixth left) shows the no straw poster, while Chiong (10th left) receives paper straws from Eco Green Industrial Sdn Bhd representative Cubert Chieng Ung Ching. Looking on are Michael (eighth left), Albert (11th left) and others.
Ting (sixth left) shows the no straw poster, while Chiong (10th left) receives paper straws from Eco Green Industrial Sdn Bhd representative Cubert Chieng Ung Ching. Looking on are Michael (eighth left), Albert (11th left) and others.

SIBU: The Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will ban single-use straws at all eateries within its jurisdiction effective Jan 1 next year to reduce plastic waste – making it the first local authority in East Malaysia to do so.

SMC Public Health, Environment and Municipal Services Standing Committee chairperson Rhoda Ting cautioned that errant operators would be compounded RM50, and their plastic straws confiscated.

She, however, was quick to point out that for the first few months of the ban, only warnings would be issued.

She reasoned that the grace period was to enable eatery operators to get acclimated with the ban as well as to clear their old stock.

“After the first warning, the council enforcement team will return to the same outlet and if they find operator still does not comply then compound will be issued including confiscating their straws.

“This is the same action that we took during the implementation of the ban on the use styrofoam in 2014,” Ting told reporters before distributing posters on the ban on single-use straws at Sibu Central Market today.

She also warned that errant traders could have their licence revoked if the offence is repeated three times.

“The ban on plastic straws is also included in their licensing condition – the same way as the (ban on) styrofoam.

“In fact, any kind of offence for coffee shops (if repeated for a) three times, the licence will be revoked,” Ting said.

“I suppose SMC is the first (local authority) to do it (to impose the ban on plastic straws) in East Malaysia.

“In a way, we always want to be at the forefront to impose something that is environmentally-friendly to preserve the environment and wildlife.

“It is also in line with our federal government’s policy of no straws, which has been imposed in federal territories this year,” she asserted, adding that this small gesture could be a big gesture if all local authorities collectively implement the ban.

Towards this end, Ting acknowledged that their awareness programmes need to be beefed up as it is now already November.

She noted that there are between 700 and 800 coffee shops in Sibu, where Sibu Coffee Shop & Restaurant Owners Association is assisting to distribute the posters.

“We have received good response from (coffeeshop) owners, where according to them, it helps to reduce their cost (on purchasing) straws,” she said.

On alternatives, she suggested that operators could use paper or bio-degradable straws.

She stressed that bubble tea operators too are required to use paper straws.

An international study published in January this year estimated that as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws are polluting the world’s beaches.

In Malaysia alone, studies show that the people are using about 30 million straws per day. Plastic straws can take up 200 years to disintegrate.

Among those present at the event today were SMC Market and Petty Traders Standing Committee chairman Albert Tiang and his vice-chairman Augustine Merikan, political secretary to Chief Minister Michael Tiang, Sibu Hawker Welfare Association chairman Captain Tan Hong Kiang and Sibu-Meradong Hawkers Association chairman Chiong Siong Nguong.