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Single-use plastic bag ban effective from today

January 1, 2020 7:37 am

The ban on the manufacture, sale, and supply of single-use plastic bags is effective from today.

The ban is seen as a step in the right direction towards achieving a plastic-free environment that will help Fiji’s tourism industry.

Ministry of Economy Head of Climate Change Nilesh Prakash has urged Fijians to add the ban on single-use plastic bags to their New Year resolutions.

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“So today is 1st January, and this is when the plastic bag ban comes into effect. Every New Year we all make resolutions – so let us make a resolution that we will not use plastic bags from tomorrow. Let us be resolute about it and let us be part of the solution.”

Fiji Revenue and Customs Service CEO Visvanath Das says the heavy penalties for manufacturing, selling and supplying of single-use plastic bags are seen as a deterrent.

“People have been asking the questions on what will be the penalty if they continue to do that. For manufacturing, the penalty if $500, 000 or seven years imprisonment or both. For the sale of plastic, it’s a $150,000 penalty.”

Climate Justice Activist Lavetanalagi Seru says more has to be achieved.

“I commend the government for taking this initiative. From the next year of January 2021, we’ll see that there will be a ban on Styrofoam and plastic straws. This is really commendable actions.”

With the ban to be enforced today, Prakash says some women’s groups are already taking initiatives to help in the transition process.

“A classic example is a work done by Ba Women’s Forum. They are making cloth bags and they recently commissioned their training facility and they have this solution of making cloth bags.”

Prakash adds manufacturers are already in the transition process, resorting to the production of paper bags to be used when plastic is phased out today.

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