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5 years since banned, non-biodegradable shopping bags remain in circulation

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In March 2017, the production, import, and circulation of non-biodegradable plastic bags, including black plastic bags, was prohibited in Jordan after an announcement in the Official Gazette. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The 5-years-old decision to regulate the import, production, and circulation of biodegradable plastic shopping bags has stayed just that, as bags are still being used in shops across the Kingdom, Al-Ghad News reported. اضافة اعلان

In March 2017, the production, import, and circulation of non-biodegradable plastic bags, including black plastic bags, was prohibited and the announcement was published in the Official Gazette.

Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment Mohammad Al-Khashashneh confirmed that such bags are still being used.

“Some 500 production plants in Jordan are not licensed, while only 250 are, which may be the reason why the use of prohibited black plastic bags continues in small proportion,” he added.

For heavy weight plastic bags, the new regulation makes it necessary to add 5 percent biodegradable substances to the raw material used in the manufacturing process,” according to Khashashneh, who said that the black plastic bags are banned because they contains 75 percent recycled materials.¸

According to Khashashneh, the prohibited bags could take up to 18 months to degrade; that, and the fact that “the examination required to ensure the presence of degradable material in these products is not short, and may reach two weeks”, poses a challenge.

This matter “has nothing to do with the Ministry of Environment, but is rather related to the technology used to inspect the bags, which requires this period of time”, he said, adding that samples are collected “first from within the factories that produce them”, and a “pledge is signed by the owner, that in the event that the biodegradable substance is not present, the bags will be confiscated, and the owner will have to pay the price of the examination”.


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