YWP clarifies ban on plastic bags

By LYDIA NATHAN

Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) has clarified that the use of 100% biodegradable plastic bags in the Federal Territory (FT) of Kuala Lumpur is an initiative by the previous government.

In a statement issued last Friday, the foundation noted the decision was made by the former administration through a post-Cabinet meeting on April 27, 2016, and that it was recommended by YWP.

“YWP was only entrusted to support this initiative by the federal government after Sept 1, 2017,” it said.

This was in response to earlier media reports that YWP had allegedly recommended the use of biodegradable bags, and the ban on conventional plastic bags became pointless due to the sales of fake and substandard bags by unscrupulous sellers.

Prior to this, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng questioned how such fake bags had the FT Ministry’s “biodegradable” stamp, as well as the “eco-label” stamp by SIRIM Bhd, complete with certification numbers.

Lim had also claimed there is a possibility the biodegradable bags recommended by YWP may not be fully friendly for the environment because it can contain up to 40% of plastic ingredients. However, YWP said its products are 100% biodegradable and do not contain any plastic ingredient.

“YWP’s biodegradable (bags) are produced by manufacturers that have received SIRIM Eco-Labelling accre- ditation which is at par with international standards and is totally environmentally friendly,” it added.

Single-use plastic will be abolished by 2030, while charges for plastic bags will be introduced.

Recently, YWP announced that plastic straws will be banned in the FT of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan from Jan 1, 2019.

It also said non-compliance on the ruling would result in the termination of business licences.