Saturday, August 24, 2019

Plastic bags to be banned in Bahrain by July

In line with the directives of the Government Executive Committee – chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister – and following the Ministerial Committee for Urbanization and Infrastructure’s order regarding regulating and reducing plastic usage, the CE of the Supreme Council for Environment (SCE), HE Dr. Mohammed Mubarak Bin Daina, noted that Ministerial Order Number (11) for the year 2019 with respect to the technical regulations for plastic products will come into effect on July 21, 2019.

The order will regulate and phase out the use of plastic bags. The first phase will focus on single-use plastic bags as well as banning the import of non-biodegradable plastic bags. Later phases will witness a permanent ban on the use of plastic bags at certain malls and supermarkets.

The SCE and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism are currently working on setting the implementation phase for the remaining plastic products.

HE the CE noted that the SCE will issue guidelines for manufacturers and suppliers on reducing plastic waste to ensure a smooth transition.

HE the CE underlined the results of the SCE’s intensive market research on Bahrain’s plastic production reaffirmed that switching to the production of degradable plastic will not affect production lines. The CE affirmed that Bahrain has benefited from Saudi Arabia’s expertise in this field.

HE the CE went on to highlight that the SCE has also conducted a market study on the consumption of biodegradable and compostable plastic products in Bahrain in order to measure the impact of finding viable alternative solutions to plastic. The study focused on the consumptions of plastic use in the foodservice industry.

HE the CE affirmed that HRH the Crown Prince’s directives and the issuance of Ministerial Order Number (2) for the year 2019 has allowed the Kingdom of Bahrain to join a number of leading countries in banning the import of plastic waste, following the United Nation’s call to mitigate ocean pollution and climate change.

HE the CE said that the SCE has implemented measures to expand the number of recycling businesses by increasing the total number of recycling bins, thereby reducing plastic waste that ends up in landfills. HE went on to state that 40% of household waste is plastic-waste, which can only be effectively reduced through prohibition and regulation.

HE the CE concluded by stating that citizens’ awareness for environmental conservation has facilitated the implementation of various initiatives that aim to combat climate change, and noted that the SCE has received a number of community initiatives from individuals and businesses alike.

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