Yesterday, 18 February, Selangor's Barisan Nasional (BN) information chief Satim Diman promised to stop making shoppers pay 20 sen for plastic bags if BN wins Selangor in GE14
In a Malaysiakini report, Satim claimed that this move is "part of the BN manifesto" in a talk at Ladang Fermanagh, Kuala Langat.
Furthermore, he also proposed that the state government should build its own plastic factory, and said Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali could have given out free plastic bags if the factory was built.
"If he (Azmin) really wants to look after the welfare of youths, he should open a (plastic) factory near here (Sungai Pelek)," said Satim.
On top of that, Satim also said that shoppers shouldn't have to be charged 20 sen for plastic bags.
"They should just build a factory and give it for free. This is the Pakatan Harapan government for you," he added.
Selangor's BN chief Noh Omar also said that shop owners should pay customers 20 sen instead for bringing their own bags
According to Berita Harian, Noh said businesses should give 20 sen to consumers who bring their own bags, and not charge those who want a plastic bag.
He also said that this will teach consumers about the dangers of plastic bags which can pollute the environment.
Moreover, Noh expressed concern over the 20 sen charge for plastic bags in the state as it is not included in customers' receipts.
"It makes people wonder where the money goes to," he added.
Earlier today, a Penang executive councillor deemed these statements to be "insulting and offensive"
State executive councillor Phee Boon Poh, who was behind Penang's policy of no free plastic bags since 2009, told Free Malaysia Today that the suggestion to give out free plastic bags is against all efforts to cut down the use of plastic bags in the country.
"It is funny the Selangor leaders want to give away free plastic bags when Prime Minister Najib Razak told a UN climate change summit...that the country aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% come 2020," he added.
The report also states that the revenue from the 20 sen collected from those who pay for plastic bags in Penang is channelled to the state's poverty eradication fund.