By Anita Roberts
Plastic bags and bottles will be banned in Vanuatu.
The government has decided to address plastic waste disposal which is causing huge environment impacts and serious problems.
Therefore, the government will be creating a ban to phase-out the use of bottles and plastic bags nationwide, the Prime Minister (PM), Charlot Salwai, declared when he was addressing the nation on Independence Day.
PM Salwai said the government will ban the use and importation of bottles and plastic bags, which cannot be reused.
Vanuatu will be the first country in the pacific region to be implementing this if it becomes a reality, he said.
The PM’s announcement came following a plastic bag ban campaign that was announced during this year’s National Environment Week.
‘No plastic bag, plis’, the name of the campaign- calls for Vanuatu to move to legislation to reduce the use of plastic bags and value re-usable shopping bags and local baskets.
The online and paper petition to ban single-use plastic bag was initiated by few people who care for the environment which humans depend on for survival and want to see it be protected.
Many people living within and abroad participated urging for action.
The organizers said that if the petition gets 1,000 signatures they will present it to the PM, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, the Leader of Opposition, and the mayors of Port Vila and Luganville towns.
PM Salwai when making the announcement on July 30 said a policy to ban the use and importation of bottles and plastic bags favors the Vanuatu National Ocean Policy.
Bottles and plastic bags are risky to human life and the environment, he stressed.
Mr Salwai said keeping the environment in Vanuatu clean and safe is a priority of the government.