NATION

Govt to Ammend Plastic Use Regulation

  As part of Fiji’s contribution towards the United Nations Ocean Conference, Government is looking at reinforcing a ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags. One possibility would be that people would
12 May 2017 11:00
Govt to Ammend Plastic Use Regulation
Rubbish at Suva Point foreshore on May 11, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

 

As part of Fiji’s contribution towards the United Nations Ocean Conference, Government is looking at reinforcing a ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags.

One possibility would be that people would need to pay additional for plastic bags during their shopping or to carry their own reusable bags.

Similar legislations exist the world over where people pay extra if they want their shopping to be packed in plastic bags.

Oceans Champion and Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau revealed this yesterday in a joint press conference with Permanent Secretary for Environment Joshua Wycliffe.

Fiji is co-hosting the Conference with Sweden in New York from 5 to 9 June.

Mr Koroilavesau said this is the time for all Fijians to come onboard and the control of plastics and plastics found within the Oceans was a major issue that his team is grappling with.

As the Oceans Champion, Mr Koroilavesau has kick-started a number of initiatives to keep the Ocean clean.

“We are working with the Ministry of Environment in formulating legislation on the reduction in use of plastics,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

Mr Wycliffe said there was currently no legislation to ban the import of non-biodegradable plastics and the need for importers to get a certificate of import from the Director of Environment if they needed to import plastic bags etc.

“Regulations dating back to 2012 prohibit import and export of biodegradable plastics and the single use check-out plastic bags.

“The 2011 Budget provided for a ban on the importation biodegradable plastics,” Mr Wycliffe said.

“Going forward, in partnership with Fisheries in eliminating marine pollution, the Ministry will work closely with the Fisheries Ministry to enforce in a very specific format this ban.”

This begins with plans to phase out of the single use check-out plastic bags.

“We would work with retailers, consumers, manufacturers to start this.”

There are already discussions to house dedicated recycling plants in Fiji which would in turn create jobs as well.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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