PORT MORESBY,16 APRIL 2018 (POST COURIER) — The Papua New Guinea Government will impose an environment levy on the import and manufacture of all plastic shopping bags.

Environment and Conservation and Climate Change Minister John Pundari announced this last Friday, saying that moves were underway at the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) to enact relevant regulations to effect the environment levy.

He said the Environment (Ban on Non-Biodegradable Plastic Shopping Bags) Policy 2009 and the Environment (Control of Biodegradable Plastic Shopping Bag) Regulation 2011 implemented by CEPA since 2014 had not been effective, as the problems of plastic littering continues to worsen every day.

He said since the introduction of the regulation to control import and manufacture of biodegradable PSBs in 2014, up to 460,000kg of PSB had been imported.

“This figure is based on annual return permit holders submitted to CEPA, noting that not all companies are fully reporting, hence the total import and manufacture of PSB could be a lot higher. Not only that, but there are PSB coming into the country illegally and these are not accounted for by CEPA,” Pundari said.

“CEPA had tried its best to implement the ban on non-bio degradable PSB and imposed control on the import, manufacturing and use of biodegradable PSB. Compliance by the industries and the consumers at large has not been encouraging.

“As a responsible Government, serious actions need to be taken to better address the issue and that requires a shift from the current approach.

“In the interest of protecting our health and our unique environment, I have decided that a total ban imposed now on all imports and manufacture of plastic shopping bags in Papua New Guinea.”

He said he was aware of the impact a total ban will have on current businesses involved, therefore as an option these businesses wishing to continue to engage in the import and manufacture of biodegradable plastic shopping bags would need to pay an environment levy…. PACNEWS