PNG decision to ban plastic bags hailed: UN

PORT MORESBY, 25 APRIL 2018 (THE NATIONAL) – The United Nations has commended the decision by the Papua New Guinea Government to completely ban plastic shopping bags.

UN resident coordinator Gianluca Rampolla said the announcement by the Government “is timely and a step in the right direction.”

“Papua New Guineans depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihood,” Rampolla said.

“With 7 per cent of the world’s biodiversity found here in PNG, we must take every action to protect it as it is part of our common heritage and future.”

The theme for International Mother Earth Day this year is “End plastic pollution”.

Rampolla said the Earth Day reminded everyone to be conscious of our use of plastic.

“With so much to lose to plastic pollution, I urge all Papua New Guineans to take the pledge to take stock of your use of plastic and reduce the amount you use to protect our environment,” he said.

The UN will continue to support PNG in fighting climate change and ensuring environmental sustainability.

The concern is over the destruction caused by plastic which has become a global threat by clogging oceans, threatening the marine life and impacting the ecosystem services. It is also adversely affecting food security and human health.

The majority of marine pollution, which comes from land-based sources, has reached alarming levels with an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter found per square kilometre of oceans.