Charge for plastic bags set at one pataca each

The expected one- pataca fee for plastic bags was announced yesterday in a Chief Executive order published in the government’s Official Gazette. The order was signed on September 2.
According to the city’s plastic bag charge scheme, starting from November 18, each plastic shopping bag will cost one pataca.
The bill for plastic shopping bags was published in August, although the charge for a single-use plastic bag had not been finalized.
The bill is applicable to single-use plastic bags in retail locations which include supermarkets, restaurants, pharmacies, bakeries, and convenience stores. Parties not charging for such plastic bags may be subjected to a MOP1,000 fine for each plastic bag given away.
Food and medicines without packaging are exempted from the bill, as well as products purchased in certain areas at the airport.
The Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) is the governmental authority responsible for matters pertaining to plastic bags.
Retail locations are also obligated to display promotional materials related to paid plastic bags within two years of the law coming into effect.
Previously, the government expressed that it expects to reduce the use of plastic bags by at least 50% once the bill starts being implemented.
The income generated by the plastic bag fee will be retained by the retail shops, as explained previously by the environmental protection authority. The DSPA considers it an “adequate” way to support the sector.
Each Macau resident uses 2.2 plastic bags per day on average, research shows. In total, 450 million shopping bags are used each year, according to a report by Exmoo.
In February of 2016, a DSPA survey showed that the majority of the public agreed that the charge should be no less than one pataca. Environmentalists argue the charge should be much higher. JZ

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