14 Jul 2014

Wide benefits seen from Yap plastic bag ban

3:13 pm on 14 July 2014

An environmenal agency for the Micronesian state of Yap says a plastic bag ban will yield a host of benefits including keeping its reefs healthy and protecting marine life.

Yap banned the use of plastic bags last year and gave retailers a grace period to allow the gradual phasing out of the plastic bag.

But the ban came into full effect this month and retailers now face a 100 US dollar fine if they provide a customer with a plastic grocery bag.

Plastic bags.

Plastic bags. Photo: AFP

A spokesperson for Yap's Environmental Protection Agency, Loren Atkins, says the new law will be very beneficial.

"It is going to be reducing the amount of plastic pollution that the state is contributing to the environment and also it is going to be hopefully improving the health of the reefs which is such an intergral part of not just the environment here but also the society so I think the benefits could potentially be broad, far-reaching and hopefully long-term."

Loren Atkins, who is an environmental lawyer, says local retailers have been very supportive of the ban.