Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fee proposed on plastic bags




Fee proposed on plastic bags

A shop vendor hands over a plastic bag of goods at a market last year. A new prakas, that could be implemented before the the year’s end, could see consumers charged for the use of certain plastic bags.
A shop vendor hands over a plastic bag of goods at a market last year. A new prakas, that could be implemented before the the year’s end, could see consumers charged for the use of certain plastic bags. Pha Lina

Fee proposed on plastic bags

The government has proposed slugging shoppers 500 riel for plastic bags in a bid to reduce environmental pollution.

A draft prakas on plastic bags that would include the fee was reviewed yesterday in a Department of Environment workshop attended by government representatives along with mall and shopping centre owners.

The prakas would also ban plastic bags thinner than 0.03mm and less than 30cm in width and impose a 10 per cent tax on larger plastic bags bought wholesale. Bags made from decomposable organic materials would be exempt, and their use encouraged by a tax exemption.

The government has talked about the need to reduce the use of plastic bags in the past, but has never before imposed a fee to reduce plastic bag use, said Bunthoeurn Mak, project officer of NGO Fondazione ACRA, which provided financial support to conduct the workshop.

The charges would be applied first to large malls and shopping centres, even though an ACRA report released in November found that smaller public markets are the biggest users of such bags. “But the government is starting with those [larger businesses] because it is easy for those [doing] law enforcement,” Mak said.

Forty per cent of the 500 riel fee would go toward an endowment to be used by the Ministry of Environment, according to the draft document, while the remaining 60 per cent would go to store owners, explained Heng Nareth, general director of the department of environmental pollution control.

Sub-national communes and districts would administer punishments for not following the rules, which include a written warning and confiscation of prohibited materials.

Meng Leangchou, 45, of LC Mart in the city’s Chamkarmon district said that her customers would not appreciate the surcharge.

“They already spend money for buying their goods, and now we ask them to pay more; they are not going to be happy,” she said. “But if the ministry can reduce plastic use, it is good.”

The prakas could be finalised by the end of this year, Nareth said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara