Plastic pollution highlighted

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PAPUA New Guinea is projected to have more than 320,000 tonnes of mismanaged plastic by 2050, a recent Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) workshop has highlighted.
Cepa senior assessment manager, under the environment protection division Brendan Trawen, referred to the report by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
He said PNG recorded 90,000 tons of mismanaged plastic in 2010 and by 2050, it was projected that plastic pollution in PNG would have more than tripled.
Presenting during the national waste and chemical management policy consultative workshop for the Mamose in Lae, Trawen said Cepa was still pushing for the national regulation to effect the amendment of the single use plastic shopping.
In 2014, the Government banned the import and manufacture of non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags.
But Cepa’s infrastructure utilities and convention branch manager Veari Kula said there was still use of plastic bags in the country.
“It’s a ban on import of biodegradable plastic shopping bags,” he said.
“Before we allowed importers to bring it in, so now, we’ve stopped this and allow only for local production of plastic.”
Kula said there were four local companies producing plastic, three of which were based in Lae.
He said many shops were now using carry bags which was good but they had to be re-used.
Kula said areas of improvement included the collection of plastic waste and their disposal and public education on changing minds was key.