Muscat: The Environment Authority has confirmed that it will implement the decision to ban the single-use plastic bags in the Sultanate, starting from January next year.
An administrative fine of not less than OMR100 and not more than OMR2,000 would be imposed on anyone who violates the provisions of this decision.
The fines would be doubled in case of repeat violators, and more severe penalty stipulated in the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Law could also be imposed.
“Ministerial Decision No. 23/2020 regarding banning the use of single-consumption plastic shopping bags came to restrict the use of plastic bags in order to ensure the safety and health of humans, living organisms and wildlife in general,” the Environment Authority said.
“According to a research study conducted by the Chemicals Department, plastic bags are made of polyethylene which does not decompose and is a harmful substance that may cause some types of diseases,” the authority added.
The plastic that is made within two minutes and used for a just 20 minutes, needs 400 years to decompose in nature. Only about 8 per cent of it reaches landfills and the rest is ends up in the air, on trees, beaches other open places and seas harming and killing wild animals including marine creatures, it pointed out.
Moreover, throwing it under the sun creates very harmful gases. So the only way to get rid of it is to burn it, and but this further exacerbates air and water pollution thus adding to the contamination of crops and leading to disease.