Muscat: Oman set to ban single-use plastic shopping bags and replace with bags that are reused and environmentally friendly which will come into effect from Friday, January 1, 2020.
In this regard, Eng. Ahmed bin Zahir Al Hinai, Director General of Environmental Affairs, said that the authority is continuing to implement the decision to ban the use of single-consumption plastic shopping bags, and it is part of the plan established by the authority to preserve the Omani environment from pollution and waste harmful to the environment and wildlife that the Sultanate is rich in. .
This decision also comes in implementation of the provisions of the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Law No. 114/2001, and to achieve greater harmonization and integration to integrate sustainable development objectives and indicators in the national action plans for the management of plastic products and their waste.
In his speech, Al-Hinai explained that the decision came after a series of studies and workshops carried out by the authority in cooperation and coordination with relevant government and private agencies, and an appropriate and sufficient period had been set before the entry into force of this decision in order to ensure that this decision was fully implemented, in a proper manner without Impact on manufacturers as well as consumers, which will help to keep abreast of developments and successive changes on the relevant global agreements.
Al-Hinai indicated that this decision will greatly contribute to reducing plastic pollution on the local environment, and that the authority has seen the experiences of many countries that have implemented similar decisions in preventing single-consumption plastic bags, which greatly contributed to preserving the land and marine environment from pollution.
He also confirmed at the end of his speech that the authority is continuing to implement this decision and in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment Promotion, and that all appropriate measures will be taken in order to ensure the commitment of companies and commercial institutions in implementing it.
So what are the alternatives ?
Dr. Mohammed bin Majid Al Kasbi, Director of the Chemicals Department at the Environment Agency said:- The alternatives are reusable eco-friendly shopping bags, such as reusable cloth, cotton, paper and plastic bags; All these types of bags are available and traded in the local market with different types.
It is worth noting that Ministerial Resolution No. 23/2020 affirmed that companies and institutions are prohibited from using single-consumption plastic shopping bags that are used only once in order to preserve the Omani environment, provided that an administrative fine of not less than 100 Omani riyals and not more than 2,000 Omani riyals is imposed on each Whoever violates the provisions of this decision, and is doubled in the event of repeated violation, without prejudice to any more severe penalty stipulated in the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Law.
The decision was based on the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Law issued by Royal Decree No. 114/2001, and the Royal Decree No. 18/2008 defining the terms of reference of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs and adopting its organizational structure.
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