Macau’s retail outlets will have to charge customers one pataca for each bag when the government’s plastic carrier bag levy scheme is finally implemented on November 18, according to a chief executive order published in the Official Gazette (BO) on Monday.
The bill on the implementation of the plastic carrier bag charge scheme for retail businesses in Macau was passed by the Legislative Assembly (AL) last month, following a review by the legislature’s 3rd Standing Committee after the bill’s outline had been passed by legislators in April.
The law – Law No 16/2010 on Restrictions on the Supply of Plastic Bags – will take legal effect 90 days after its promulgation in the Official Gazette on August 19 – i.e. November 18. The law forbids retailers form giving out plastic shopping bags for free.
According to the law, the amount to be charged for each plastic carrier bag is to be determined by the chief executive in an executive order.
According to the new law, shops providing customers with free plastic carrier bags will be fined 1,000 patacas for each bag they provide.
According to the law, the plastic carrier bag levy scheme will cover all retail outlets, “in particular” supermarkets, restaurants, eateries, outlets selling drinks, bakeries, pharmacies, convenience stores, and shops selling cigarettes.
However, the law states that exemptions can be made for plastic carrier bags used for unpackaged food or medicinal products, and for products that have been bought in retail outlets in the airport’s restricted area and are subject to safety restrictions in air passengers’ hand luggage.
According to the new law, business owners will have to display promotional materials – such as posters – about the plastic carrier bag levy scheme in clearly visible locations in their retail businesses during the first two years after the law takes effect. However, those failing to display such promotional materials during the two-year transition period will not face any fine.
According to the Macau Post Daily, the Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) will be tasked with enforcing the new law, such as monitoring the retail sector’s records of charging shoppers for their plastic carrier bags. Business owners will face a fine of 10,000 patacas if they fail to cooperate with plastic carrier bag inspectors.