Vanuatu bans plastic and fines rubbish dumpers

The Vanuatu government has signed orders limiting the use of plastic and regulating waste throughout its 82 islands.

The orders addressed the control of single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and polystyrene takeaway boxes, littering and the licensing of private waste operators.

From July 1, it would be an offence to manufacture, sell or give away single-use plastic bags, plastic drinking straws and polystyrene boxes.

The only exception would be the use of plastic to wrap and carry fish or meat.

On February 1 this year, new laws on littering took effect, with fines of US$45 for a first offence or US$90 for subsequent dumping of rubbish in public.

The government has also been consulting with private waste operators who now have to be licensed to operate any landfill, recycling centre, waste treatment plant, composting plant or incinerator.

Vanuatu's Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation said it wanted to inform the general public about the changes and is working with partners to develop awareness about the moves.


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