Shoppers may soon see an additional day to the three-day ‘No Plastic Bag Weekend’ initiative, in the government’s efforts to drive down solid waste per capita and minimise plastic bag disposal.

Discussions are still underway for the Ministry of Development’s plans to include Thursday as part of the ‘No Plastic Bag Weekend’ initiative. Speaking at the Legislative Council (LegCo) on Monday, the Minister of Development YB Dato Seri Paduka Hj Suhaimi Hj Gafar said they are still in talks with participating stores and businesses.

According to the minister, the discussions touch on the possibility of extending the No Plastic Bag weekend from three (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) to four days. The issue has also been raised during previous years’ LegCo meetings.

Launched in March 2011, the ‘No Plastic Bag Weekend’ initiative — which saw 18 participating stores withholding the use of plastic bags on Saturdays and Sundays for their customers — was introduced to raise public awareness on the use of reusable bags. A year later, Fridays were included in the initiative and the number of participating retailers increased to 44.

The  ministry sees the initiative as one of the ways to minimise the use and the disposal of plastic bags to landfills. Brunei produces 1.4kg of solid waste per person per day, said the minister and the target is to reduce it to 1kg by 2035.

In 2015, Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) released statistics indicating Bruneians generate around 1.4kg of solid waste per day per person on average. While 36 per ccent of that is food waste, paper made up 18 percent and 16 percent is plastic.