Macau | 4,700-signature petition to ban disposable plastic use submitted to gov’t

Macau (MNA) – Local residents submitted a petition bearing 4,700 signatures to the Macau SAR Government Headquarters on Thursday urging the Administration to roll out measures banning single use plastic and plastic bags.

Following delivery of the petition, group representative Annie Lao told the press that they are requesting the government to hold a press conference to address the matter by September 13.

“We asked the government to hold a press conference […] to issue a response to the entire public, not only to us,” said Ms. Lao.

The group is asking the government to produce a timetable to create laws to ban single-use plastics, and to regulate entreprises to reduce production of plastic waste.

“[Imposing] tax is the only way to regulate public usage,” said Ms. Lao. “We haven’t thought of how much tax the government should levy but it cannot be too low otherwise people will think it is too cheap to dump rubbish.”

She further noted that the government should produce options for people to go plastic-free as well as informing them of the benefits of abandoning the use of plastics.

“It is not about the tax but about making the city green and more sustainable,” said Ms. Lao.

She added that the government can provide incentives for enterprises to use biodegradable materials instead of plastics and that enterprises such as restaurants can encourage people to bring their own reusable containers for takeaways.

The government previously advocated that society had not reached consensus on imposing taxes on plastic bag use.

In response, Ms. Lao said the number of signatures collected within two weeks had proved the importance of addressing the issue.

“I don’t think there is no consensus [within society] because we collected 4,700 signatures in just two weeks,” she said.

The online petition will be open for more signatures until September 13.

Annie Lao, representative of the group.