Swakopmund to adopt plastic bag abolishment by-law

12 Jan 2018 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 12 JAN (NAMPA) – The Swakopmund Municipality will, after several consultations, approve the implementation of a first of its kind by-law to ban the usage of plastic bags by March this year.
This means that use of plastic bags which are liberally distributed at pay points of most businesses will soon not be allowed in the town, mainly as part of environmental management aims.
The municipality’s Health Services General Manager, Clive Lawrence told Nampa on Thursday that the town council approved the framework of a regulatory policy in October last year, which introduces levies on the use of plastic bags within its jurisdictional area.
The council did this through its powers provided under the Local Authorities Act.
“A levy, which is not yet determined, will be charged to shoppers and anyone found using plastic bags,” Lawrence warned.
According to Lawrence, the first consultation meeting already took place in October last year in which retailers present were selected as representatives for the Environmental Committee against the use of plastic bags.
He also added that an Environmental Fund was established, which caters for the depositing of all levies and donations made towards the cause.
Lawrence said the termination of plastic bags is a long term goal, but the current focus will be reducing its use to promote the utilisation of re-usable and biodegradable bags, which are already available in several stores.
He went on to explain that the impact of plastic bags on the sensitive ecosystem of the coastal town is devastating as it poses threats to both land and sea creatures that get terminally entangled after ingesting plastic.
It also contributes to mass pollution in the area, he said.
“The need to protect our environment from the destructiveness of plastic bags has become a major priority for the Municipality of Swakopmund,” Lawrence recalled.
He further stated that awareness raising activities are already underway and will continue at schools while various public meetings will be conducted prior to the final implementation of the by-law.