The single-use plastic bag ban is seen as a challenge by some market vendors, but the transition to a plastic bag free Fiji is an inevitable one.
Ministry of Economy Head of Climate Change Nilesh Prakash says the ban is imperative to help in the reduction of plastic bag pollution.
The manufacture, sale, supply as well as the distribution of plastic bags will be banned from January 1st, 2020.
The Ministry of Economy Head of Climate Change says changing people’s mindset on the single-use plastic bags is important in achieving the set goal.
“In every jurisdiction rather I would say, when this ban was imposed, it was chaotic. You look at developed countries because plastics have become so convenient for us. It’s readily available, it’s light in weight, but I think it’s about creating that transition, it’s about changing that mindset that we need to have overtime.
Mix response was also recorded from market vendors who use plastic bags to pack their produce.
Prakash says manufacturers are already in the transition process as the country approaches the deadline for plastic bag ban in the country.
“Manufacturers are picking up on the policy signal which is a very good thing. The transitioning their own manufacturing plant to manufacture paper bags which is biodegradable. This is a very good move and we need this sort of industry response in a huge manner to be able to address this issue of plastic ban.”
Meanwhile, a person who manufactures a plastic bag is liable upon conviction to a fine up to $500, 000 or imprisonment for up to seven years or both.