Retailers concerns about a proposed ban on single-use plastics will be heard, the Government said this week.

Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, said at a press conference that he was pleased by the feedback that had already been received as part of the consultation on the proposed ban.

Mr Roban said: “We know that they have questions and they want to know and understand how this transition is going to impact their bottom line and the costs that they are exposed to.

“That is the very reason why we have taken time to have the consultation in the way that we have, and I have made a commitment that I am not going to take this proposal forward, unless I feel that every voice has been heard and every opportunity for consultation, has been completed.

“I am particularly concerned about our retailers and those in the service industry that rely heavily on plastics for their business.”

He said he wanted to ensure that whatever transition is made did not cause a major risk to retailers’ bottom line, and he was pleased by the “frankness” of the feedback the Ministry had already received.

Mr Roban praised the businesses that had already begun to make changes such as adopting the use of biodegradable containers and non-plastic straws.

He said: “I applaud those who are already making the step because they clearly understand and appreciate the need to reduce the use of single use plastics.

“I also know that it’s a harder transition for some, so that’s why we want to work with them.”

Mr Roban said that other island nations have already successfully introduced mandates to reduce or eliminate the use of single-use plastics.

He said: “We as an island want to make a similar transition in a way that the whole country can be comfortable with, but we still reach the goals that we want to reach.

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