PLASTIC-FREE CHAMPION

Gizo enjoying a clean, sustainable environment 5 years ahead of Honiara on single-use plastics

BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO

GIZO, the capital of the tourism hub province of Solomon Islands is well into enjoying a single-use plastic-free environment.

Honiara is still getting used to living without single-use plastics, whereas Gizo has been since 2019.

Gizo Market manager Moffet Maeta says Gizo is well into its stride as the country’s champion for environment sustainability.

Mr Maeta said this transformation was solidified with the signing and gazetting of the Regulation on September 1, 2023.

He highlighted that Gizo embarked on the path to ban single-use plastic as early as 2019.

Therefore, when the ban officially took effect last year, people in Gizo and those visiting Gizo were able to comply, he said.

“We had already adjusted to the single-use plastic ban, so the ban posed no significant challenge for us,” Maeta said.

He said while acknowledging that new visitors to Gizo might find the transition unfamiliar, Maeta emphasised the simplicity of complying with the regulation, particularly for local vendors.

“Our vendors have adapted to the new norm. It is just a matter of changing our habits and being mindful when shopping,” Maeta explained.

He calls on Gizo residents and visitors to embrace the practice of bringing their bags when visiting markets and shops.

“Let us all embrace this practice and contribute to preserving the beauty of our environment,” he urged, underlining the importance of individual responsibility in fostering a plastic-free future for Gizo town.

Moreover, the signing and gazetting of the Regulation means that it is now effective as a subsidiary legislation under section 55 of the Environment Act 1998.

The five items listed in the regulation include Plastic shopping bags, Plastic straws, plastic cups, plates and cutleries, polystrofoam 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 ups 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.

According to the Solomon Islands government it believes that it is prudent to start making changes and shift to sustainable alternatives and to ensure that the environment is protected from plastic pollution.

Leave a Reply

Discover more from Theislandsun

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading