“Single-use plastics are a human addiction that we must face head on. Plastic pollution is not only impacting our waters and marine life, but also the human food chain and our overall health.”
Recent Radio New Zealand news bulletins have reported how the government in Vanuatu is leading the way among the smaller Pacific Islands nations in banning plastic bags and some types of plastic packaging.
Quoting from a couple of those broadcast bulletins these are the measures already in place in Vanuatu and plans for the near future.
“Vanuatu’s Council of Ministers agreed last month to stop single-use bags being imported and manufactured in the country after a study around the main island of Efate showed up a large amount of plastic litter.
“The ban is among a number of steps being taken to manage the problem.
“The ban started on 31 January and also extends to polystyrene takeaway boxes which are commonly used for carrying food.
“The government says local plastic bag manufacturers will only be allowed to use biodegradable plastics from that date.
“It’s also planning to deal with plastic bottle waste and provide support for alternatives like traditional baskets.
“Companies are to be given a grace period of six months to use up their current stock of single-use plastics and polystyrene takeaway boxes.
“Vanuatu is also planning to ban more plastic packaging like plastic bottles in future.
“The governments announced, as a start, non-biodegradable plastic bags and polystyrene takeaway boxes are to be banned from the end of this month.
“The head of Maritime and Ocean Affairs in Vanuatu Toney Tevi said new laws would also be introduced for managing plastic waste.
“He said changes to the country’s Waste Management Act would be announced by the end of the month.
“We will also have a regulation in place, which will tell us how and when, and go about managing certain plastics, so we’re not going to do anything that might want to hurt somebody in such a way that it’s going to be bad for him and his business, but we want to do it in such a way that they too understand that plastic should not get into the sea.”
Source: Radio New Zealand International.