I REFER to the letter “Malaysia needs to upgrade to 5R” (The Star, April 23). I am sure all Malaysians who are interested in the environment will thank the writer for taking such a keen interest in the subject.
However, the writer does not really address the issue of how to reduce and possibly eventually eliminate the growing problem of plastic waste.
Encouraging consumers to use fewer plastic bags and recommending safer alternatives have been tried before with little or no impact.
How about controlling the problem at source by taxing producers of plastic bags, cups and bottles? The increased cost due to taxation is bound to be passed on to retailers who will then be forced to pass it on to consumers. If the price is high enough, consumers may be encouraged to reduce the use of plastic bags and switch to their own reusable bags.
The money collected from taxing plastic products must be used to encourage entrepreneurs to set up companies that will address the problem of plastic waste disposal. If the money is good, there’s bound to be enthusiastic responders.