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Bye bye plastic bags

12 Oct 2020 By MOHAMMED TAHA

A countdown to a ban on use of single-use plastic bags has begun as Oman prepares to end the scourge of plastic bags with the prohibition coming into force from January 1, 2021. 

The Environment Authority (EA) is stepping up awareness on the issue with more than 20,000 environment-friendly shopping bags to be distributed across Oman this year. 

As part of its efforts to spread awareness on the environment, the Environment Society of Oman, in cooperation with Oman Flour Mills (OFMI), has distributed 4,000 reusable shopping bags in shops across Muscat. 

The initiative comes as a step to help Oman prepare to eliminate plastic shopping bags by the January 1, 2021-deadline which was issued by EA following a decision on March 9.

The authority has also informed that violators of the decision will be liable to pay a fine of no less than RO100 and no more than RO2,000. 

The fine will double in the case of a repeat violation, it stated.

“The decision is part of the authority’s plan to protect Oman’s environment and wildlife from pollution and waste. It came after a series of studies and workshops conducted by us in cooperation with the concerned government and private agencies,” said an official at EA.

He affirmed that the authority will take appropriate measures to ensure the commitment of companies and commercial institutions in the implementation of the decision.

He added that plastic bags have a harmful impact on the environment as they don’t decompose for hundreds of years. 

“This year, we will distribute more than 20,000 environment-friendly shopping bags in schools, universities and shops to spread awareness. We have cooperated with Orpic, ESO and other bodies to organise awareness campaigns. We urge people to use environment-friendly bags.”

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