Government’s cautious approach holds back plastic bags tariff

Friday, June 6, 2008
Issue 366, Page 3
Word count: 257
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

President of the Environmental Council, Leong Vai Tac, yesterday expressed a cautious approach towards imposing tariff on plastic bags in Macau as he said public support is needed in bid to ensure the measure’s long-term effectiveness.

Yesterday marked the World Environmental Day and the beginning of the “Bring your own environmental bag” campaign that will run until August 31.

With the support of community organisations and 58 designated retail shops, people can receive a stamp every time by using their own bags and will participate in a lucky draw for prizes worth more than 11,000 patacas after collecting six stamps.

Although the president said participating shops had during the past campaigns seen a drop of plastic bags usage, the government was not yet very keen to impose plastic bags tariff in society as he said the influences it created might not be accepted by the public.

“The plastic bags tariff introduced in other countries is a means to limit the abusive use of plastic bags,” Mr Leong said.

“But the government statistics showed that over the past years Macau didn’t generate a significant increase of domestic garbage, while waste mainly came from commercial and construction industries,” he added.

According to the environmental president, Macau cannot impose tariff right away without conducting a prior research on society’s level of acceptance and whether the measure will ultimately contribute an increase in consumption cost for consumers.

“Of course the Environmental Council would like to see the tariff running in Macau, but we also can’t overlook the reality,” Mr Leong said.

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