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Oman environment authority clarifies its ban on single-use plastic bags

Muscat: Oman’s environment authority has issued a clarification on alternatives for single-use plastic bags that have been rendered banned in the Sultanate from January 1.

A statement issued online reads, “Based on the inquiries received by the Environment Authority regarding specifications and alternatives for single-use bags that are covered by the ban according to Resolution 23/2020, the authority wishes to clarify the following,” and then listed the following conditions.

It said the bags covered by the ban are lightweight single-consumption plastic shopping bags and all kinds of decomposing bags, stressing that while they are capable of disintegrating quickly in nature, their chemical properties remain and as a result, the harm is greater on the environment.

It also said that the alternatives that can be used are paper and carton bags, canvas bags, cotton bags, and non-woven bags that are reused and available in the markets and shops.

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Furthermore, the authority clarified that in its first phase of the ban, the plastic bags currently exempted are those intended for waste collection, bags for planting agricultural seedlings, bags for vegetables and fruits available in commercial centers, bags for meat and fish available in commercial centers, laundry bags, and bread packaging bags.

However, the authority has confirmed that this exception is only temporary as further details will be published on it later.

It added that the authority also invites everyone to search for suitable alternatives such as paper and cardboard bags and other containers for meat and fish by the time this exception ends.

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