Firms get 18 months to prepare for plastic ban

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THE Government has allowed an 18-month grace period for companies to prepare themselves for a complete ban on plastic shopping bags.
Minister for the Environment, Conservation and Climate Change Minister John Pundari made the announcement after a meeting with companies, especially permit holders, for the manufactureand import of plastic bags.
Pundari directed the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) and the companies to form a working committee to meet on a monthly basis to drive the issue over the next 18 months.
“The Government will not deviate from imposing a complete ban on the imports, manufacture and use of all plastic shopping bags in the country because plastic waste poses a significant threat to our marine resources and human health and wellbeing,” he said.
“But we cannot do that alone. We require support from the industries.
“That’s why I am giving a grace period of 18 months starting (yesterday) for industries to get yourselves organised and ready for the ban which will be in November 2019.”
Pundari said the previous announcement on a one-month grace period was for consultation.
“Industries have two options – agree to pay a combined minimum environment levy of K20 million annually to Cepa to help manage the plastic waste you produce, or, come up with better alternatives of producing eco-carry bags or paper bags or shut down your business of importing and producing plastic bags in the country after 18 months.”