Plastic consumption in Oman to be reduced

Muscat: The government is setting up guidelines on the use of plastic, the Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs told Majlis A’ Shura on Monday.

“There has been coordination with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) to put in mechanisms that will reduce overall plastic consumption, he said.

The Minister was responding to questions raised by the members on the need for policies to reduce the use of plastics, intensifying environmental awareness campaigns and enacting deterrent sanctions against those who underestimate the importance of natural life of the Sultanate.

Some members suggested the need for areas designated for the disposal of the agricultural waste as the current praticse of burning employed by farmers pose serious threats to environment.

The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) has urging people to avoid throwing plastic unnecessarily. “Take plastic bags when you go shopping and reuse them. Also use toys that will last and say no to plastic if you don’t need them,” it said.

“This problem will be not resolved overnight with fines and penalties, but plastic should be treated on par with dangerous substances such as tobacco or narcotics.” said
a pediatric at a private hospital.

According to a study from Earth Policy Institute, “Nearly one trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. The problem is that these bags contain polyethylene and cannot biodegrade, which means if they aren’t recycled or disposed of properly, they become pollution that we commonly see alongside the road or floating in the water. This equals trouble for not only us and our environment, but animals and other wildlife as well.”

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