Vanuatu trials techniques to extend plastics ban

An ecological project in Vanuatu has been trailing upcycling techniques to help the government with the next stage of its plastics ban.

Vanuatu banned single-use plastic shopping bags, polystyrene takeaway boxes and plastic straws at the start of the month.

The government is currently looking at what further restrictions could be applied.

The RESCCUE project in north Efate has been working on ways to minimise and manage waste and has helped prepare the community for the ban.

Vanuatu's foreign minister says the programme's upcycling innovations like plastic 'bottle bricks' may be needed for stage two of the ban which could include single-use items like shampoo bottles.

Ralph Regenvanu said the issue for Vanuatu is that it's such a small-scale economy.

"Whether it's realistic to recycle these products into others is a question that will be determined but it's good that these pilots are being done so we can work out the economics of it.

"So it's fantastic that these organisations are actually taking the risk, taking the step to experiment so that we can see whether it is a viable option for Vanuatu."

Mr Regenvanu said a national audit is underway to determine the next stage of the country's plastics ban.