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Single use plastic ban could start next year - Minister

Plastics adrift in the ocean (File photograph)

Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, told the House of Assembly this morning that a public information campaign and consultation with businesses will take place this year with the goal of banning the importation of some products next year.

He added: “Together we can make the effort to eliminate single-use plastics, to play our part in reducing climate change, to stop marine litter and improve public health.”

Products targeted in the ban could include styrofoam products, such as takeout containers and cups, along with single-use plastic bags, utensils and straws.

Mr Roban said: “We appreciate that we must consult with businesses and the hospitality industry to ensure that they will be able to obtain alternative items to those items that will be banned by legislation.

“After consultation, we will introduce legislation to prohibit the importation of certain single use plastics by 2022.

“As part of the first phase we intend also to introduce legislation to ensure that non-plastic alternative products to plastic products subject to any ban are fully biodegradable.”

Once the ban has come into effect, businesses will be given time to use their already-imported products before their sale is banned as part of the second phase of the plan.

Mr Roban added that further consultation would take place as part of the third phase of the process to assess the effect of the bands and consider the next round of items to be banned.

He said the intention was to potentially introduce legislation to prohibit the importation, sale, distribution, and use of further banned single use plastics by the end of 2025.

Mr Roban added: “I must recognise the retailers, grocery stores, restaurants and hoteliers that have already led the way by replacing plastic bags, containers, straws with green products and encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags.

“They have demonstrated that this can be done.”

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Published March 05, 2021 at 11:21 am (Updated March 05, 2021 at 11:41 am)

Single use plastic ban could start next year - Minister

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