The executive council of the Macao special administrative region announced on May 14 that it has completed discussions on a draft law to restrict the supply of plastic bags, proposing to impose a "plastic bag charge" on plastic bags in retail sales, with merchants charging 1 patacas per plastic bag.
The bill proposes that in retail sales, plastic bags must be provided to others for a fee, and that the price of each plastic bag should be set by the chief executive in the hksar gazette.
The bill makes exceptions, particularly for health and safety reasons, to provide free plastic bags for unpackaged food or medicine, food or medicine in non-airtight packaging, food or medicine that should be kept hot or cold, or goods that are restricted by the security of carrying hand luggage in restricted areas of the airport.
The bill also suggests that the environmental protection agency be responsible for monitoring compliance with the law, such as a fine of 1,000 patacas for violating regulations restricting the supply of plastic bags.
In case of breach of cooperation obligation, patacas will be fined 10,000 yuan.
In addition, the bill proposes that, in order to enhance publicity and education, enhance environmental awareness and promote the reduction of plastic bag provision, publicity materials on plastic bag provision should be posted in prominent places in retail premises.
Tan weiwen, head of the environmental protection bureau, said that according to relevant data, there will be about 1,400 tons of solid waste in Macao in 2018, of which about 23 percent will be plastic materials, of which 13 percent will be plastic bags. The authorities conservatively estimated that the implementation of the bill can reduce the number of discarded plastic bags by no less than 50 percent