No Free Plastic Bags Every Day in Penang Policy (FAQ)
 
1. Q: What is No Free Plastic Bags policy?
  A: No Free Plastic Bags is a campaign launched by Penang State Government since 2009. Business premises that fall under categories listed in the Guidelines of No Free Plastic Bags policy will not provide free plastic bags to shopper, but with a charge of 20 sen for each plastic bag requested over checkout counter.
     
2. Q: What is the rationale behind the No Free Plastic Bags policy?
  A: Plastic bag is convenient for shopper, however when it is beyond control, single-use plastic bags create environmental impact such as wastage of landfills and marine pollution.
     
3. Q: How do you identify the impact of this campaign on public behaviour?
  A: Public Survey has been carried out periodically to obtain better understanding of public views about the campaign. Also, the public behavioural change can be identified by the total amount of 20 sen collection for each plastic bag, less collection indicates less plastic shopping bags being purchased over checkout counter.
     
4. Q: What is the outcome of No Free Plastic Bags policy after nine years being implemented in Penang?
  A: According to our Public Survey conducted in last September, we attained a 100 percent rate from the survey question of being aware about the state policy regarding ‘No Free Plastic Bags Everyday’. 85 percent of those people mutually agreed that reducing plastic bags usage will eventually suppress waste in Penang. 65 percent of the 2,582 people had agreed saying they chose to carry their own shopping bag instead of buying plastic bags.
     
5. Q: Where will the 20 sen collection of each plastic bag being channelled to?
  A: The 20 sen charged for each plastic bag is channelled to the state’s AES programme (Agenda Ekonomi Saksama) which plays a role in eradicating poverty in Penang.
     
6. Q: How much is the collection from the 20 sen per plastic requested that has been collected in yearly basis?
  A: In 2014, the total fund collected was RM 1,040,750.81 whereas in September 2017, the total fund of the year was RM 881,542.25. The total that state had collected from July 2009 until June 2018 is RM7, 764, 942.40.
     
7. Q: Are business premises allowed to use biodegradable bag as an alternative?
  A: All single-use shopping bags including biodegradable bags are not encouraged to be used at checkout counter as they create the same environmental impact which is waste generation and burden the capacity of the landfill. The best practice to promote zero waste is to use reusable bags.
     
8. Q: What is the local council’s plan to strengthen the policy?
  A: The local government is now in the progress of drafting bylaws to support the No Free Plastic Bag policy, which enforcement will be implemented, and compound will be charged to offences committed.
     
9. Q: According to the current progress of No Free Plastic Bag, will the policy be applied to hawkers and wet markets as well?
  A: According to the current guidelines of No Free Plastic Bag policy, hawkers and wet markets do not fall into any category of business premises in the guidelines, however they are encouraged to register with local council to abide with the guidelines, certificate of acknowledgement will be given to them by local council as a recognition.