• November 9, 2020
  • WTO

Mauritius | Environment Protection (Control of Single use Plastic Products) Regulations 2020


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Title of document
Environment Protection (Control of Single use Plastic Products) Regulations 2020 (15 page(s), in English)

Description
Salient features of the regulations “No person shall import for home consumption, manufacture, possess, sell, supply or use any non-biodegradable single use plastic product specified in Part I of the Second Schedule.” Part I of the second schedule comprises of the following single use plastics products: Cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks), Plate, Cup, Bowl, Tray, Straw, Beverage stirrer, Hinged container, plastic lid for single use plastic product and plastic receptacles of any shape, with or without lid, used to contain food which is intended for immediate consumption, either on the spot or take away and supplied by a food service business. As from 15 January 2021, the above mentioned single use plastic products will be banned. However, three single use plastic products, namely, plastic tray, plastic hinged container and sealed plastic straws forming an integral part of the packaging of another product will be banned as from 15 April 2021. “No person shall import or manufacture a biodegradable single use product specified in the First Schedule unless he is registered with the Director.” The First Schedule comprises all of the above listed products but which are made of material other than plastic such as wood, paper, paper pulp, Kraft paper, cellulose, bagasse, bamboo, palm, edible cutlery, and bio-based polymer such as Poly (lactic) acid (PLA), CPLA, PBS. Importers and manufacturers of biodegradable single use products are required to be registered at the Department of Environment prior to importation or manufacture. The steps for registration are as follows: (i) Applicant (Importer and Manufacturer) fills in the prescribed form of the regulations (Third Schedule) and submit to the Department of Environment (DOE). (ii) DOE process the application and after obtaining such information and carrying out such investigation, DOE registers the Applicant and issue a Certificate of Registration to the Applicant after payment of 10,000 rupees by the Applicant. (iii) Certificate of registration shall be valid for a period of three years and shall be not transferable. (iv) Certificate of registration shall be renewed no later than 3 months prior to the expiry of the certificate Clearance prior to placing of order In addition to registration, an importer will be required to apply for a clearance to the Director of Environment at least 30 days prior to placing of order of the respective biodegradable single use product. Clearance will have to be obtained on a consignment by consignment basis. Requirements for Application for clearance (i) Certificate of conformity specifying the following information: the country of origin; the name and contact address of the manufacturer; certify that the biodegradable single use product does not contain plastic; and list the raw materials used to manufacture the biodegradable single use product. (ii) Three samples of the respective biodegradable single use products to be imported will have to be submitted for verification.

Notifying member: Mauritius

NotificationG/TBT/N/MUS/11

Objective tag
Protection of the environment

Objective
The growing use of short-lived plastics which are not designed for re-use or cost-effective recycling means that they are thrown away into the environment within a short amount of time, even within minutes after they are first utilised. Most plastics do not biodegrade. Instead, they slowly break down into smaller fragments known as micro-plastics. Micro-plastics, if ingested by fish or other marine life, can enter our food chain. Micro-plastics have already been found in common table salt and in both tap and bottled water Studies have found that plastic bags and containers made of expanded polystyrene foam (commonly referred to as “Styrofoam”) can take up to thousands of years to decompose, contaminating soil and water. The largest market for plastics today is packaging materials which are mostly single use plastics. Most of these single use plastic products are improperly disposed end up as litter, clogs drains and waterways contributing to flash flood during heavy rain and take up space in our sole landfill which is reaching saturation. Litter in scenic places can negatively impact the tourism industry. Cleaning plastic waste also cost the Government a lot. Mauritius also has limited recycling facility implying that the majority of our plastic waste is accumulating in our landfill. Each year, it has been estimated that Mauritius generates about 76,000 tonnes of plastic wastes. One of the most effective strategy to curb plastic pollution is to reduce their inputs. Government of more than 60 countries around the world has introduced different policy tools from bans to economic instruments such as taxes and extended producer responsibility to tackle plastic pollution. In line with the Government Policy of Zero Plastic by 2030, the objective of the regulations is to curb plastic pollution by controlling the volume of non-biodegradable single use plastic products which most often end up as litter. The regulations also aim to promote biodegradable alternatives.


Agency responsible
Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change

Timing:

  • Submission: 21/10/2020
  • Reception: 21/10/2020
  • Distribution: 05/11/2020
  • Final date for comments: N/A
  • Proposed date of adoption: N/A

                   

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