THE ban on the imports of non-biodegradable plastic bags will be fully enforced from Dec 1, Environment and Conservation Minister Benny Allan said yesterday.
“While it was initially intended to ban all forms of plastic bags, it was ultimately decided to limit the ban to non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags in order to ensure local plastic bag manufacturers were not affected, which would have led to a loss of local jobs,” Mr Allen said.
The minister told Parliament that by the end of this month, all non-biodegradable plastic bags would be removed from the shelves of suppliers and distributors of these bags.
He said the Department of Environment and Conservation was enforcing the ban on imports of non-biodegradable plastic bags with the assistance of the PNG Customs through a Customs (Prohibited Imports) (Plastic Shopping Bags) Regulation, which has been gazetted and would be fully enforced from next month.
He said new regulations were being developed which would require importers, manufacturers and distributors of biodegradable plastic bags to obtain environment permits, and in addition they would be required to provide certification as to the biodegradability of their products.