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Penang bans polystyrene at official events

PENANG, 15 June 2009: Penang has banned the use of polystyrene boxes and plates in all of its official functions.

State executive councillor for health, welfare, caring society and environment, Phee Boon Poh, said the use of polystyrene boxes as food containers raised health as well as environmental concerns.

Polystyrene boxes and plates could retain water and become breeding grounds for dengue-carrying aedes mosquito, he added.

“We made the decision in the interest of the public. I hope organisations will give their support and do the same,” he said in a statement today.

On 5 June, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that beginning 1 July, every Monday would be a “No plastic day” in Penang. Lim had said the ban on plastic bags marked the state’s commitment towards becoming a green state.

On dengue cases, Phee said they were on the rise in the state, with 1,380 cases reported and 479 tested positive as of 6 June this year.

He said there were only 720 cases reported during the same period last year, with 251 tested positive, and no deaths reported.

He also said that the state government would step up its anti-dengue campaign, including carrying out inspections on premises. — Bernama

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