Government Implements Nationwide Ban on Single-Use Plastics

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THE six months Grace period given to importers, manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of certain single use plastics has ended on 1stth March 2024.

As of 2nd March 2024, all provisions in the Regulation to regulate certain single use plastics in the country will now take full effect.

The five items banned in the regulation are (i) Plastic shopping bags, (ii) Plastic straws, (iii) PET water bottles less than 1.5 litres, (iv) Polystyrofoam takeaway plates cups forks and spoons and (v) Plastic cups, plates and cutleries (knives, forks and spoons).

The banning of certain single use plastics in the country follows a series of studies and surveys conducted since 2017 in relation to the damages caused by single use plastics to our environment. In addition, the 5 categories of single use plastics covered in the ban are ones, which also have safer alternatives available locally or can be brought into the country.

This is a crucial step towards eliminating plastics from our environment. The detrimental impact of single-use plastics on our environment has been well-documented. The country’s 2019 State of Environment Report that just behind climate change, wastes including single use plastics is the next biggest threat to our environment.

Enforcement agencies for the regulation include Customs, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Environment and Conservation Division of MECDM, Enforcement Officers of Honiara City Council, Authorised officers of Solomon Islands Maritime Authority, and Servants and Agents in the Solomon Islands Ports Authority.

A standard Operating Procedure has been developed to support the implementation of the regulation in terms of its enforcement.

Meanwhile a foot patrol awareness on shops within Rove and the Honiara Central Business district was conducted by all enforcement agencies on Wednesday 27th February. The public and shop owners provided valuable feedback that will help improve the implementation of the regulation going forward.

The next exercise will take place on Monday 4th March 2024 as part of the implementation process and continuing awareness to shop owners and the public. Outreach to the Provinces will also be via radio and other outreach programmes.

The Government is committed to creating a safe, sustainable and resilient environment for all its citizens through proactive policies and initiatives aimed at protection of the environment and to support the development and use of environment friendly goods and services. We therefore appeal for the support of the public, the private sector and all stakeholders to implement this regulation.

SOURCE: Ministry of Environment Climate Change & Disaster Management 


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