Note the plastic bag ban deadline
March 16 is ‘D-Day’ for a total ban on single-use plastic shopping bags nationwide.
This follows five months grace period given by the Conservation and Environment Authority (CEPA) to phase out their use.
There is some disagreement in the announcement and the time given to affect the new rule, with some suggesting not enough consultation was accorded.
Regardless, the new rule will be strictly enforced with penalties for those in breach, as guided by the Environment Act 2000.
CEPA is the lead agency working with partners and other stakeholders to ensure single-use shopping plastic bags are phased out in PNG.
Businesses have less than 20 days before a total ban on single use plastic shopping bags in Papua New Guinea comes into effect.
Factories, warehouses and retail shops were given an additional 45 days grace period, from an initial three months, to use up stock before a complete ban on the single use plastic shopping bags.
When the grace period ends, all users will be required by law to only use bio-degradable shopping bags.
Certain Supermarkets like Stop and Shop Rainbow, Gerehu and Boroko Food World, Gordon’s, have already started issuing bio-degradable bags, been sold at the check-out counters.
The popular plastic shopping bags, as we know it, with all its contribution to pollution and suffocating animals in the sea as well as on land, will be a thing of the past.
Mr Mori warned that any individual or entities found to continuing in the importing, manufacturing and retailing of the single use plastic shopping bags after the prescribed dates will be in breach of Environment Act 2000.
The announcement was made on Tuesday February 4, in an advertisement endorsed by the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) and Climate Change Minister Wera Mori.
In November 2019 CEPA ceased issuing environment permits for non - biodegradable plastic shopping bags and gave industries and retailers a three month grace period to phase out plastic shopping bags before the planned ban in March.