Move to ban plastic bags in CNMI faces numerous hurdles

11:27 am on 4 August 2017

The Northern Marianas' move towards banning plastic bags still faces a number of hurdles.

A torn plastic bag drifts over a tropical coral reef causing a hazard to marine life

Photo: 123RF

Lawmakers are trying to follow the lead of American Samoa, the Marshall Islands, the Micronesian state of Yap and the city of Honolulu in banning the bag.

A bill has been introduced in the CNMI's House of Representatives which fines retailers between a hundred and a thousand US dollars a day for offering plastic bags.

It still has the Senate and possibly a committee stage to pass.

Our correspondent Mark Rabago said even then there are no guarantees.

"I liken this to the sugar bill, the bill against sugary beverages that passed both the senate and the house last year.

"There was a lot of support especially from the healthcare community about it and then it just died in the hands of the governor because he said it just doesn't make economic sense because it just gives a lot of financial burden to the people."

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