The call to ban plastic bags throughout Southeast Asia becomes louder with each passing month. Environmental supporters cite that the abundance of plastic bags is contributing to street flooding, clogged drains, and damage to marine life.
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s largest city, has been considering a ban on plastic takeout bags and Malaysia has imposed a ban on free bags one day a week in an effort to reduce. Current waste recycling efforts are very low in Malaysia with close to ninety-five percent of all waste being sent to landfills.
The rapid increase in the amount of waste generated throughout the region can be attributed to growing populations, economic growth, and greater affluence creating a large consumer class that did not previously exist.
Municipalities are most concerned with drainage issues created by the plastic bags which result in flooded streets, contribute to visual pollution, and are not biodegradable. In addition to reducing the amount of bags, officials are also trying to eliminate the habit of littering by promoting the concepts of reusing and recycling.
When the furniture and household goods retailer Ikea announced last year that its Malaysia store would eliminate all plastic bag use it said that it wanted consumers to think about their attitudes towards free plastic bags and encourage the habit of using reusable bags for their shopping.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Is your business considering an expansion in Southeast Asia? If you’re in the reusable container or waste recycling business, opportunities might exist for you!