BY AGNES MENANOPO
SOLOMON Islands Government Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM), Environment Division has declared the initial proposed plan to ban on the single-use of plastics to make the environment clean.
The Environment Division is under consideration of banning the use of single-use plastics in the country.
Chief Environment Officer, Debra Kereseka said the ministry had undertaken its first consultation meeting with the government stakeholders and private sectors in November last year.
“The proposed single-use plastics that will be banned include; Shopping plastic bags, Plastic and Styrofoam container takeaways, Styrofoam and plastic cups for drinks, Straws and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles,” Kereseka said.
Chief Environment Officer said as part of the Environment Division’s work plan for this year; they will continue with their scheduled stakeholder consultation meetings.
“As part of our work plan for this year, we will continue stakeholder consultation. Conduct awareness and communication regarding the proposed ban.
“We have already established a task force or working group comprising of key government and private sector representatives to drive the proposed ban, and we will liaise with Attorney-General (AG) for preparation of drafting instructions for the development of relevant regulations. And then enforce the single-use plastic ban. Following this will be monitoring and reporting.
“These plans will be implemented as soon as the budget for this year is passed,” she added.
Plastic pollution has over the years threatened the country’s marine life, the environment, and the tourism image.
Most of the single-use plastics do not degrade by the time, but instead, break up into small pieces and ultimately end up in our food chain. Any changes in the proposed policy will be done over time to ensure the appropriate steps are taken by the responsible authority and people in the Solomon Islands.