A public consultation process on single-use plastics in a bid to abolish the product by next year is to be launched, the Government announced today.
Walter Roban, the home affairs minister, said that the Government had pledged in 2018 to rid the island of the material – including plastic cups, cutlery, straws and food containers – by 2022.
He added: “We have also committed to educating the public about recycling and reusable items and encouraging greater sensitivity to the ocean and its importance to our lives.”
Mr Roban said: “One of the many unfortunate side-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is a projected 30 per cent increase in plastic waste in 2020 compared to 2019, so this initiative is even more critical.”
Mr Roban highlighted that the Government had announced a three-stage approach to the problem in March, starting with a public information campaign and consultations on the proposed ban.
The consultation will start next Wednesday, after which Government plans to table legislation banning the sale, distribution, and use of single use plastics.
Mr Roban said importers and businesses would be given time to exhaust existing stocks and source biodegradable alternatives before a ban was imposed.
A third phase will consider the impact of the ban.
He added a policy paper had also been announced on the regulation of single use plastics.