Launch of Thursday without Plastic Bags

A study by the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation, JASTRe showed from three thousand to eight thousand plastic bags were used at each supermarket in the country on Saturdays and Sundays. The JASTRe study also discovered each supermarket uses from between one hundred thousand to almost four hundred thousand plastic bags on the said days each year. According to the Minister of Development the findings did not include the use of plastic bags on other days or those used by grocery stores, night markets and stalls throughout the country. Speaking at the Launch of Penambahan Hari Khamis **Ke Arah Setiap** Hari Tanpa Beg Plastik' this morning Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar said plastic does not degrade or decay easily and will remain at the disposal areas for a long period. The study also showed sixteen percent of materials thrown at the garbage disposal sites are plastic. Adding Thursday is part of the measure to implement 'no plastic bags day' every day.

The Minister stressed if the amount of plastic disposed continued or increased, the need for disposal land or sites would increase too. More worrying was when the plastic degraded it would release toxic particles that could pollute the earth or water below the earth's surface. Yang Berhormat added if plastic was burnt it would release the cancer causing dioxin gas. The Minister also lamented the habit of throwing plastic bags and waste into rivers, canals and drains despite efforts to overcome the problem.

The Minister of Development also emphasised the success of making Brunei Darussalam free from plastic pollution depended totally on the actions of all parties, in particular the supermarkets, department stores, sundry shops and the public who use plastic bags. Yang Berhormat added if there was no awareness among the people on pollution caused by plastic bags, all government efforts would not fully succeed. Yang Berhormat believed with the people's strong support making Thursday the fourth no plastic bag day would transform businesses into a group which is more responsible towards maintaining and protecting the environment.

Also launched today was the 'Every day Without Plastic Bags' poster and JASTRe's Instagram account: The ceremony continued with the handover of the posters to the representatives of major department stores and supermarkets. Four day without plastic bags by adding Thursday is the continuation of the initiative of 'no plastic bags weekend'. It is also in conjunction with Earth Day 2018 celebration which carries the theme, "End Plastic Pollution". Earth Day is celebrated on 22nd April every year.

Source: Radio Television Brunei

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