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Single-use plastics to be banned

Single-use plastics to be banned

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism plans to ban the use of single-use plastics in the country, effective in 2026 or earlier.

In a statement a fortnight ago, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta said this ban will follow the draft roadmap and will apply to the plastics listed in the recommendations that will be submitted to the cabinet for approval.

“We believe that this ban will help reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans, environment, and wildlife,” Shifeta said.

He further added that the ban will encourage individuals and businesses to adopt more sustainable practices and promote the use of alternative materials.

“We fully understand that this ban may require adjustments for some Namibians and businesses, but we believe it is a necessary step toward a more sustainable future, especially now that we are expected to implement the 17 sustainable development goals,” he said.

The recommended types of single-use plastics to be banned include thin imported plastic shopping bags of 40 microns, which are recommended to be banned by the end of the 2023/24 financial year because they are currently exempt from the plastic bag environmental levy.

Plastic shopping bags that contain calcium carbonate are also set to be banned by the end of the 2023/24 financial year as they are not conducive to recycling.

Single-use plastic straws, as well as plastic cotton earbuds, have been recommended to be banned from import, sale, and commercial supply by January 2024.

The ministry is also recommending the introduction of a comprehensive compulsory deposit and refund system on all single-use plastic drink bottles by 1 January 2025.

Namibia has already introduced a plastic bag levy and banned plastics in national parks. (Xinhua)


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