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Grace period for Styrofoam ban starts today

January 1, 2021 4:12 pm

Some restaurants in the heart of Suva have already started fading out their use of polystyrene products with the ban’s six months grace period beginning today.

Operators say they are seeking alternatives to ensure their business is not affected once the ban is enforced.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the temporary relaxation of the ban is to help businesses get rid of the current stock.

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Sayed-Khaiyum says awareness is already underway regarding the ban while the import of raw materials for manufacturing polystyrene products is already banned.

 “This next few weeks, of course, there will be a lot of publicity around that because we need to gear people up, physiologically be aware that they don’t and should not use Styrofoam.”

Chandra Wati of Hare Krishna Vegetarian Restaurant says they bought their last stock just before 2020 ended and is already looking at alternatives.

“We have decided to stop buying the Styrofoam materials from November, stop from then and we are seeking some alternatives.”

Cottage owner Nita Devi while looking forward to supporting the move by the government, is concerned about the alternative form of packaging available.

“There should be something like cardboard boxes, seal containers, it should be nicely done so that we can pack liquid stuff so there can’t be any leakage.”

Retailers, suppliers, and distributors are to exhaust their current stock by the end of July this year.

The Attorney General says the initiative is critical as most chemicals present in these products are not environmentally-friendly.

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