The use of plastic bags will be phased out within two years across all businesses, including roadside stalls.
The “No Plastic Bag” campaign, which had begun gradually in shops with fixed locations like supermarkets, would be extended to other business premises with a ban targeted for 2025, said Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
He said the campaign, led by state governments, was one of Malaysia’s long-term plans to address pollution caused by single-use plastic waste.
Selangor, Penang, Johor and Negri Sembilan are among the states that will organise the campaign.
Speaking at the Madani Reusable Bag and No Plastic Bag Campaign launch ceremony here yesterday, Nik Nazmi said the government’s strategy was not just to fine offenders but also to provide an incentive to encourage the transition.
“We have given state governments and local authorities the flexibility to decide on the manner of implementing the ban, taking into account their individual local needs.”
He said the government had long-term plans to address the problem of single-use plastic waste pollution.
“Plastic waste management is a significant issue in this nation, with Malaysia being one of the top 10 nations worldwide with this issue.”
He said that a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report stated that Malaysia had used 148,000 metric tonnes of plastic for food packaging in 2020 alone.
“This is not a record to be proud of,” he said.