JOHOR BARU: All hypermarkets and supermarkets in Johor have to replace their plastic bags and polystyrene containers with biodegradable ones beginning July 1.
State Health, Environment, Education and Information Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said hypermarkets were supposed to have done this early this month but it was postponed due to Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
"This is among the first steps by the state government to make Johor plastic and polystyrene-free starting from Jan 1, 2018," he said after launching Iskandar Malaysia Ecolife Challenge (IMELC) 2017 at the Johor Education Department yesterday.
He said Johor Biotechnology and Biodiversity Corp (J-Biotech) was appointed as an anchor in implementing the use of biodegradable products.
"J-Biotech is in the midst of finding a proper mechanism and is discussing with supermarkets and hypermarkets.
"Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin will make an announcement on how we will implement it at the next state Budget tabling," he added.
Ayub said he did not see any problem with the stores complying with the state ruling.
He reminded the community to bring along their own bags when shopping for groceries.
On the event, Ayub said IMELC's main objective was to protect the environment under the Low Carbon Society Blueprint for Iskandar Malaysia 2025.
He added that the plan was to make Iskandar Malaysia a developed economic corridor with low carbon emission of 58 per cent until 2025.
Since the IMELC was introduced four years ago, 77 primary schools within the Iskandar area had dramatically lowered their water and electricity bills, he said.
"This year, the programme has been expanded to 346 schools involving 34,000 students and I believe Iskandar will be a low carbon society," he added.