Just do it, Penang council told as it mulls ban on plastic straws, cups

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (centre) and volunteers with the results of a cleanup of Karpal Singh Drive today. (Buletin Mutiara pic)

GEORGE TOWN: Just do it, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today in response to a proposal by the Penang Island City Council to ban single-use plastic straws and polystyrene cups.

The council should not hesitate to go ahead with their plans, he said.

“If it is necessary, whatever the proposal is, just do it, because it is for the benefit of Penang and our beloved earth,” he said today at a community street cleaning programme at the Karpal Singh Drive waterfront promenade.

He said the results of the general election showed strong support for the state government “to make Penang even cleaner and greener”.

The proposal to ban plastic straws and polystyrene cups had been mooted by mayor Yew Tung Seang and the executive councillor for local government Jagdeep Singh Deo.

The mayor said he was going through details of the proposal with the executive councillor for the environment Phee Boon Poh. “It will not be too long before a decision is made.”

Penang Island City Council workers going through rubbish picked up during a “plogclean” event at Karpal Singh Drive today. (Buletin Mutiara pic)

At today’s “plogclean” event, more than 200 volunteers from various associations, members of the public, and MBPP staff picked up a total of 500kg of rubbish. Consumer affairs exco member Abdul Halim Hussain was among those who took part.

Chow said the “plogclean” event, at which participants pick up rubbish while jogging was aimed at bringing about changes in people’s behaviour.

“It is the greatest challenge,” he said. “I have become friends with rubbish in the 10 years I was local government exco”.

The green agenda was something the state government had been working on for the past decade, he added.