The ban on single-use plastics in the Solomon Islands will come into effect in March this year, after the end of a six-month grace period.
The period, which started on 1 September 2023, is intended to allow both businesses and consumers time to adjust to the new regulations and exhaust their current plastic product inventories.
Starting 1 March 2024, the ban targets the importation, manufacturing, distribution, and sale of certain single-use plastic items.
Among the banned items include plastic shopping bags, cups, plates, and cutlery, polystyrofoam takeaway plates, containers, and cups, and polyethylene terephthalate water bottles.
The country’s government said that it will implement strict enforcement and penalties for non-compliance.
The ban’s primary aim is to reduce the environmental damage caused by plastic waste, particularly its impact on marine ecosystems and wildlife.
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The upcoming ban is also expected to spur innovation and promote the growth of a market for sustainable products.
In a statement, the Solomon Islands’ Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology said: “We have now gone past the halfway mark on the grace period for the ban of single-use plastic and the send is coming soon.
“This means that businesses and consumers will have time to comply with the new rules that prohibit the importation, manufacturing and distribution, supply and sell of certain single-use plastic products in the country.”