Vanuatu’s Council of Ministers agreed last month to stop single-use bags being imported and manufactured in the country after a study around the main island of Efate showed up a large amount of plastic litter.
The ban starts on 31 January, and the government says local plastic bag manufacturers will only be allowed to use biodegradable plastics from that date.
Support for alternatives like traditional baskets will be provided, and companies are to be given a grace period of six months to use up their current stock of single-use plastics and polystyrene takeaway boxes.
WATSAN director Jaime Short said the Cook Islands could pursue the same style of ban, although it will be done in a step-by-step fashion so not to create too much of a shock for residents
“There are definitely some items that we on the Solid Waste committee want to ban, such as plastic bags, products containing micro beads and plastic straws,” she said.
“Our goal is to eventually control what is coming on to the island, depending on the quality and efficiency of products.”
Last month saw the submissions on the single-use polystyrene ban policy pass with no objections, with a submission to Cabinet for consideration being the next step.