CARRY RESPONSIBILITY: Rotary Malaysia will distribute 200,000 reusable bags in 27 Giant hypermarkets in the country to help eliminate the use of plastic

A line forms for the bag bearing the face of Datuk Siti Nurhaliza in Giant Bayan Baru, yesterday. Pic by Michael Ong

GEORGE TOWN: FIVE thousand reusable bags were given away at shopping centres in Penang recently.
Rotary Club of Penang members, volunteers, families and friends, in matching green T-shirts, handed out the bags that were imprinted with a picture of pop idol Siti Nurhaliza, who is also Rotary’s Club green ambassador, to the delight of shoppers at checkout counters.

The group of 300 were at Giant Bayan Baru, Giant Seberang Jaya and George Town Carnival at Northam Cafe.
Shopper Norrizan Abdul Malek, 39, from Sungai Ara, here, was pleasantly surprised to be handed a bag.
“The bag is large and nice, I want more of it,” she said.
Another happy shopper Faridah Muda, 47, from Bayan Baru, said the bag would add to her collection of reusable bags, and be the most beautiful and biggest of all.
Rotary Malaysia governor Dr Raveendra Kumar Saravanan said the reusable bag giveaway campaign would help to eliminate the use of plastic bags.
“Our goal is to raise awareness to support environmentally sustainable choices in our daily lives,” he said.
In total, 200,000 bags will be distributed in 27 Giant hypermarkets in the country.
The campaign was launched by State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh.
He said the campaign named ‘I choose to reuse’ was a good way to support the authorities’ efforts to go plastic-free.
Phee said people must also segregate waste to help recycling efforts.
He said despite all efforts to go plastic-free statewide, there were still polyethylene, or PE, plastic bags found in refuse dumps here.
“We examined 2,000 metric tonnes of rubbish collected and found at least 5 per cent (2,000 metric tonnes) of it to be plastic bags.”
Phee said the people had to change their mentality and get into the habit of carrying reusable bags wherever they go, especially to shop.
“We believe we can achieve zero per cent of plastic bags from the current five,” he said.
Rotary Club of Penang president Francois Sigrist said: “We want to protect our dear Earth by giving out these eco-friendly bags that can be reused again and again,”
He said over 7,000 members were distributing the bags nationwide to send out a clear message of recycling.