Public Health News South Africa

Retail industry readies itself for plastic bag ban

From next month shoppers will pay up to 46c each for thicker plastic shopping bags when the government's ban on thin plastic bags comes into force.

The retail industry has traditionally included the price of plastic bags into the price of goods. From May 9 the price of the plastic bags will be listed as a separate item on the till slip.

The government's ban on producing or importing plastic bags thinner than 30 microns is intended to encourage re-use, recycling and reducing litter. The thicker bags will make recycling more economically viable.

According to Chris Dickie, marketing director of Nampak Polyfoil, 2c of the price on plastic bags will go to set up a Section 21 company which would assist in setting up recycling projects countrywide, run public awareness campaigns and create jobs in recycling.

Pick 'n Pay will be introducing a re-usable "Green Bag" at their stores on April 29, made of a special environmentally-friendly fabric. The group says that the money that they paid for plastic bags in the past will now be put into specific product and price campaigns.

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