The three month grace period for the ban on plastic bags will elapse at the end of this month.
Environment Minister Wera Mori says the Conservation, Environment Protection Authority and other agencies responsible will enforce penalties to distributors, manufacturers, and importers who continue to use plastic bags.
Meanwhile, Minister Mori announced that the Plastic Policy Regulation is under review.
Minister Mori says players in the plastic industry have been consulted.
He says the Environment Act 2000 captures this effort in regulating the use of plastic which may harm the environment.
In Papua New Guinea, there are three manufacturers and 30 importers of plastic bags.
According to the Environment Minister, a 25-year permit was granted, however, no specific provisions were enshrined in law. Minister Mori says with climate change effects taking a toll around the world, promoting user-friendly plastic bags are initiatives to protect the environment.
Retail and other shopping centers will be inspected by authorities like CEPA and other agencies concerned. While littering is not the concern, prices of bio-degradable bags will vary depending on the importer or manufacturer.
The public has been urged to take heed of the total plastic ban policy and efforts by concerned authorities.
It takes about 400 to 1,000 years for an ordinary plastic bag to degrade.
By Jack Lapauve Jr – EM TV News, Port Moresby