A Regulation to ban the import, manufacture, distribution, sale and supply of single use plastics in the Solomon Islands has been signed by the Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology and gazetted on 1st September 2023.
The signing and gazetting of the Regulation mean that it is now effective as a subsidiary legislation under section 55 of the Environment Act 1998.
The five (5) items listed in the Regulation include Plastic shopping bags, Plastic straws, Plastic cups, plates and cutleries, Polystyrofoam takeaway containers, plates and cups, and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) water bottles that contains less than 1.5 litres.
This new regulation is part of a larger effort to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our environment. It is important to note as well, that the ban itself is inadequate on its own without the support and participation of stakeholders and the public at large.
The Government believes that it is prudent to start making changes and shift to sustainable alternatives and to ensure that our environment is protected from plastic pollution.
However, given that there are still stockpiles of single use plastic products listed in the ban in the country, a grace period of 6 months has been given to manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and suppliers to utilize their stocks.
Along that same line importers who have placed their orders prior to the signing and gazetting of the regulation on 1st September 2023 will have their imports facilitated. It is important therefore proper record must be kept for purposes of verification.
The six (6) months grace period will lapse on 1st March 2024.
With this regulation in place Solomon Islands will now join other Pacific Island Countries who have placed bans on single use plastics.
Meanwhile campaign and advocacy will continue throughout the 6 months grace period and into the future to enforce the regulations. We kindly call on the public and our partners to assist in its enforcement.
The aim is to have Solomon Islands reduce plastic pollution now and into the future.
Source: MECDM Press