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Kuwait using bio-degradable bags, no plastic by 2020 -- EPA

The EPA Chairman Salah Al-Midhi
The EPA Chairman Salah Al-Midhi
KUWAIT, Nov 27 (KUNA) -- In addition to a gradual switch to use of shopping bags made of paper or bio-degradable material, the state aims at zero plastic use by the year 2020, said the Environment Public Authority in a seminar, Monday night.
The EPA Chairman Salah Al-Midhi said, in a visual presentation, that the new types of bags would be used even for bread and bakery products, as well as grocery and all types of shopping. The switch in type of carrier bags targets a goal of less than 10 percent the current use of plastic in this area.
As of 2014, items such as table spreads, plastic dry cleaning bags, and plastic sheets used in construction and agricultural activity would also be modified. Import of non-bio-degradable plastic bags would be banned as of 2015, and all state bodies and bodies concerned are to cooperate to reach the ultimate goal of this campaign, which is "no consumer product made with non-bio-degradable plastic by 2020." The EPA is meanwhile working on promoting and introducing materials that are added to render plastic bio-degradable. Such material would be exempt of customs fees and penalties would be introduced to guarantee realization of this target, he said.
The issue of plastic is of particular concern to Kuwait because it is a small country which cannot afford to waste valuable space for waste dumps for much longer. The pollution caused by disposal and treatment of such waste is also a great concern for the population, he added.
"The new bags are cheaper, soil-friendly, and environment-friendly, which is a big bonus. There is the added bonus of not having to worry and spend on disposal of the bags after use." The average consumption in Kuwait per capital is six plastic bags per day, he said. Such initiatives as that by the "Friends of the Environment" in 2007 when a million environment-friendly bags were distributed to 12 coops contribute to this cause and to spreading awareness.(end) zak.wsa KUNA 271308 Nov 12NNNN