Oman plans to phase out traditional plastic bags

The introduction of new standards is hoped to mean most bags will be converted into compost or fetiliser



Oman’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued a proposal to phase out traditional plastic bags by introducing international standards, according to reports.

The plans come after an official confirmed in June that discussions were underway to ban single-use bags from supermarkets to protect the environment.

Read: Oman plans plastic bag ban</strong>

Times of Oman reports that the new proposal would see the import and manufacture of bags restricted to those that can be converted into fertiliser or compost.

“The standard specifications proposed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry have shown that there are no side effects on the use of such compost on the environment,” head of the fertiliser department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, engineer Khamis Al Mafraji, was quoted as saying.

The Ministry of Commerce will hold workshops with manufacturers, imports and distributors to explain the new standards and monitor compliance.

However, one challenge will be making sure consumers separate the bags from traditional plastic waste, bea’h environmental excellence centre, director Dr Mehab Al Hinai said.

Similar schemes have also been discussed in other Gulf countries including the UAE, where as many as 13 billion plastic bags are consumed each year.

In 2016, the Ministry of Environment told members of the emirates’ Federal National Council that it would push shops to look for alternatives to plastic bags having launched an initiative to make the country plastic bag free in 2009.

In the wider world, the UK enacted a law requiring supermarkets to charge 5p for single-use plastic bags in 2015.