1 Oct 2009

Marshall Islands to consider ban on import of some plastics

11:16 am on 1 October 2009

A member of parliament in the Marshall Islands has proposed a ban on the import of plastic bags, Styrofoam cups and plates, and plastic bottles.

Senator Gerald Zackios, a former foreign minister, introduced legislation

that aims to ban non-biodegradable plastic and Styrofoam items because both are a major land and marine environmental hazard.

Zackios is also targeting plastic bottles which he says are being used by some

retailers who fill the empty bottles with counterfeit or adulterated substances.

Over the past several years, customs officials have discovered shipments

of vodka concealed in what appeared to be bottled water.

The bill would not ban the importation of recycled paper bags or reusable

shopping bags, and would exempt licensed water purification facilities from

the plastic bottle ban.

If the legislation is approved during the current session of parliament,

it would penalize anyone violating the ban with a $1,000 fine and up to one

year in jail.