KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 – The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry wants local authorities to help make a success of the proposal by Perak and Johor to ban the use of plastic bags and polystyrene containers. Deputy Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri said he wanted local authorities to monitor the disposal of these non-perishable items by the private sector as well as industries making these products.
“The ministry welcomes the suggestion in the effort to preserve the environment as it is very difficult to dispose these items as they take hundreds of years to decompose,” he told reporters after launching a tapir awareness campaign at the Publika shopping centre here yesterday.
On Monday, Perak proposed a ban on plastic and polystyrene products in the state effective next year while Johor said the proposal was expected to be announced at the tabling of the Johor State Budget 2017 at the end of this year. On the tapir programme, Hamim said it was organised in conjunction with ‘World Tapir Day’ on April 27, with the cooperation of the Malaysian Nature Society, a non-governmental organisation ArtSemble, as well as Publika.
About 3,000 replicas of the tapir were made by schoolchildren throughout the country for public display from yesterday to May 8. Hamim said the tapir population in peninsular Malaysia was between 1,200 and 1,500, and the animal was a fully-protected species.