No plastic bags on Thursdays in Brunei

No plastic bags on Thursdays in Brunei

BRUNEI will soon include Thursdays in its No Plastic Bag weekend drive based on the request from participants in a recent survey conducted by the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRE).

In March, more than 200 participants took part in the survey by filling in questionnaires handed out at four major department stores, who have pledged to the No Plastic Bag weekend initiative in 2011.

JASTRE's Head of Environmental Planning and Management Division, Martinah Hj Tamit, told The Brunei Times the participants were the ones who requested for another day to be added, preferably Thursday.

"What we will be doing soon is to add one more day to the No Plastic Bag weekend initiative based on the public's response in a recent survey conducted by the department in March,'' she said.

Based on the findings, Martinah said 96 per cent of the participants are now using reusable bags from Fridays to Sundays when they shop.

In addition, 11 per cent of the consumers visiting the four stores did not even use plastic bags throughout the entire week, but instead brought their own reusable bags.

"That means they are really aware of the initiative against using plastic bags," she said.

In March 2011, the Ministry of Development (MoD) inked deals with 18 stores to cut down on the use of plastic bags.

The No Plastic Bag Weekend initiative began on March 26, where the distribution of plastic bags upon the sale of products on weekends were withheld.

The following year in February, Fridays were included in the initiative, and 26 new retailers have pledged their commitment to the initiative, taking the total number of participating retailers to 44.

As some 13,700 plastic bags are used every weekend from major retail stores, it is expected that the green initiative signed with the department stores will cut out 274,000 plastic bags every weekend or 13,152,000 bags a year.

To manufacture 10 million plastic bags, a total of 14,600 litres of petroleum oil is used.

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