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

  • Hun Sen to the rescue

    Cambodia has won praise for allowing passengers of the MS Westerdam cruise ship to dock at Preah Sihanouk port, thanks to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s humanitarian act. In a message via Twitter on Wednesday, the director-general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu

  • PM orders immediate action against ‘sexy’ live streamers

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered immediate action against women who live stream their sales pitches on Facebook wearing revealing clothing. The prime minister said the practice erodes traditional Cambodian values and disgraces women. Hun Sen gave the order to officials attending the Cambodian

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Tourist area greenlit in Sihanoukville

    The National Committee for Coastal Management and Development will coordinate with relevant ministries over the establishment of a billion-dollar tourist area named Neak Reach in Preah Sihanouk province after it was proposed by the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and

  • PM issues human rights circular

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday issued a circular urging officials at all levels to work more closely with the Cambodia Human Rights Committee (CHRC) to protect human rights in Cambodia. In the circular, Hun Sen urged all institutions to collaborate closely with CHRC, including

  • Organic vegetable retailer unveils QR code scheme for origin source

    Organic vegetable retailer Natural Agriculture Village has introduced QR codes on its product packaging, which will allow consumers to see where their produce comes from. Natural Agriculture Village president Bun Sieng, who is also a member of local distributor Green Gold, told The Post on