Will Oman Become a Plastic-Free Country For Shoppers?

Will Oman Become a Plastic-Free Country For Shoppers?

A majority of consumers in Oman have pledged their support for more environment-friendly shopping by supporting the country’s ban on single-use bags from January next year, national daily Times of Oman reported.

A Twitter poll by the country’s Environment Authority shows that about three of five consumers were ready ditch single-use plastic bags, while about 9 percent of consumers have actually switched to reusable and more environment-friendly bags.

Others meanwhile are seeking more time to adjust to the government’s new regulation on shopping bags, the daily Times of Oman reported.

The environment body is preparing to implement Ministerial Decision No. 23/2020 that prohibits companies and institutions from making single-use plastic shopping bags.

The decision to ban single-use plastic shopping bags was based on the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Law promulgated by Royal Decree No. 114/2001 and the Royal Decree No. 18/2008 defining the terms of reference of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs and adapting its organizational structure, the report said.

Violators could be fined as much as $5,200, and the penalties are doubled for repeat offenders.

The environment authority, in an earlier announcement, said Oman faces “serious environmental challenges related mainly to environmental protection and public health, from the danger of plastic bags, whose effect remains as long-term non-degradable plastic waste, in addition to the difficulty of collecting and recycling them.”

“It was necessary to develop policies and guidelines for manufacturers and suppliers to ensure the correct transition to single-use shopping bag alternatives,” it said.

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