The Palau Visitors Authority’s (PVA) board, management and staff members, in support of President Tommy E. Remengesau’s approval of the Plastic Bag Use Reduction Act, are declaring PVA to become a plastic-free organization, and are encouraging other government and non-government organizations to join in support.
The Act (House Bill No. 10-37-2,HD2,SD3) calls for this first step “towards total freedom from plastic consumption and a vital measure to protect Pristine Paradise Palau” by banning retailers from providing plastic bags that aren’t biodegradable or compostable at point of sale to customers for food products, groceries, and other merchandise. This ban will take effect in November 2019, but by November 2018, there will be a ban on importing non-biodegradable or non-compostable plastic bags. These measures will greatly reduce the tens of thousands of plastic bags that are given out each week by stores in Palau, and consequently help to prevent health risks for the environment and the people.
PVA will take the first step to purchase reusable water bottles for each of the board members and employees. In Koror State alone, 405,669 glass bottles and 2,172,026 plastic bottles were recycled in 2017 (January to November). In 2015 and 2016, the number of plastic bottles recycled was well over 4,000,000 each year. Other measures of reducing plastic use include switching to non-plastic plates, utensils, and other items. PVA will also start a movement with night market vendors to request them to sell reusable bags at the night market and other community events in which tourists and residents purchase local products. Furthermore, PVA will make the change and purchase marketing materials or promotional items which are non-plastic or made from recycled plastics.
For more information, please contact the Palau Visitors Authority at 488-1453/2793. [/restrict]