3 Jan 2018

Plastic bag ban in Vanuatu from February

11:38 am on 3 January 2018

A ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags is to come into force in Vanuatu at the end of this month.

Plastics wash ashore on the tide.

Plastics wash ashore on the tide. Photo: paktaotik2/123RF

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 starts 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.

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