Iran may approve regulation to curb plastic bags consumption

April 23, 2018

TEHRAN – The Iranian administration will take the final decision by late June on approving a previously drafted regulations which aim to decrease the use of plastic bags in the country, an official with the Department of Environment has said.

Levying tax on the use of plastic bags, promoting awareness towards harms of plastic, and manufacturing recyclable plastic bags are among the main subjects of this regulations, ISNA quoted Ali Moridi as saying on Sunday.

“Currently we are discussing the issue with the ministry of industry. Since this regulations affects the production and consumption of plastics, there is resistance against its implementation.”

Although there is no detailed data on the consumption rate of plastics in the country, it is evident that this consumption trend is way higher than that of advanced countries, he lamented.

Unfortunately, plastic bags are offered free of charge in Iran’s supermarkets while this is not the case in some other countries, he said, adding that putting extra charge on plastic bags will act as a deterrent and encourages citizens to use reusable cloth bags.

Mentioning International Mother Earth Day, April 22, he went on to say that “End Plastic Pollution” has been considered as the year’s global theme for the occasion.
The aim of defining themes is to raise public awareness towards environmental challenges and prepare the ground to fight them, he added.

Plastic needs a significantly long period to decompose and accordingly various environmental threats are imposed by them, he highlighted, adding that the most known threat happens in oceans and seas where birds and fishes may eat plastic particles which leads to their death.

Moridi went on to say that since there is an excessive consumption of plastics in Iran, the Department of Environment announced ‘no to plastic bags’ as the national theme of this year’s International Mother Earth Day.

Also, plastic bottles and disposable tableware have a high rate of consumption in the country and have a significant role in polluting the environment, he concluded.

The need for waste separation at source 

If domestic waste is separated at source, no plastic will enter the environment, Sadreddin Alipour, the head of the center for environmental management and sustainable development of Tehran Municipality, has said.

Currently waste separation is being implemented in two districts of Tehran, he said, adding that Tehran lacks the required infrastructure for waste separation like installing different recycle bins for every type of waste.

While it is always recommended to use less plastic bags or products, it is a fact that today’s lifestyle cannot remove them completely over a night. However, the important step after using plastics is to separate them at source – along other materials like glass and metals – to facilitate their recycling process.

MAH/MQ/MG

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