Home News MASSIVE FINES, JAIL, AS PLASTIC BAN STARTS ON 1 MARCH

MASSIVE FINES, JAIL, AS PLASTIC BAN STARTS ON 1 MARCH

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Companies and individuals face up to $100,000 fine with several years in jail, or both, if they breach the ban on use of single plastics which comes into force tomorrow, 1 March 2024.

The Regulation that bans the importation, distribution, manufacture, sale & supply of single- use plastic products ends tonight and will come into force tomorrow – after a 6 months grace period.

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Former Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology Stanley Festus Sofu, under section 55 of the Environment Act 1998, signed the Regulations in September 2023. He defined plastic shopping bag as any of the following;  (a)  designed for the use in trade and commerce; and (b)  plastic carrier bags whether light weight or heavy weight; and made in whole or in part, of polyethylene, composed primarily of thermoplastic synthetic polymeric material; and (d)  which is provided at the point of sale and incidental to the purchase of other goods; and (e)  used for delivery of goods; and whether biodegradable or non-biodegradable;

Plastic cutlery” meanwhile includes single use takeaway cups, spoons, forks and knives designed for single-use, however excluding those used for smoothies or bubble tea;

Polyethylene Terephthalate (“PET”) water bottle” means,

(a)  drinking water contained in PET bottle less than 1.5 Litre in volume; and

  1. (b)  designed for use in trade and commerce; and

  2. (c)  made in whole or in part, of plastic, and made of plastic resin; and

  3. (d)  designed for one time use; and

  4. (e)  which is provided by retail outlet to a customer at the point of sale;

single-use plastic products” means the following:

  1. (a)  plastic shopping bags;

  2. (b)  plastic straws;

  3. (c)  plastic cup, plastic plate and plastic cutlery;

  4. (d)  polystyrofoam takeaway containers, plates, cups;

  5. (e)  polyethylene terephthalate water bottle that contain less than 1.5 litres;

The regulation will as of tomorrow stops the importation, manufacturing and distribution, supply and sell of single use plastic products.

“No person shall import single-use plastic products. No person shall manufacture or distribute to any person single-use plastic products. No person shall sell or supply to retail outlets single-use plastic products,” the regulation, states.

PENALTIES

A person contravening commits an offence. And the Maximum penalty: for a natural person, 50 000 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment or both whilst for a body corporate, 100 000 penalty units or 3 years imprisonment or both.

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