Steep penalties for plastic bag levy violations

SWAKOPMUND

06 July 2018 | Environment

Jessica Botes

Retailers could soon be hit with a N$100 000 penalty for failure to charge their clients up to N$1 for using a plastic shopping bag.

In the Swakopmund municipality’s effort to curb plastic pollution in the town, regulations on single use plastic bags have been drafted. These regulations form part of a proposal that the municipality utilise its powers provided under section 94 of the Local Authorities Act of 1992 to introduce a levy on single use plastic bags within its jurisdictional area.

The draft regulations further require that retailers keep record of the number of plastic bags supplied and gross proceeds generated from selling these bags. These records should also be made available to council every year. Failure to comply with these requirements could lead to a fine of up to N$80 000 being issued against a retailer.

Any retailer who gives false or misleading information about their use of plastic bags could be fined N$60 000.

Of the funds generated through the levies, 75% will go directly to council and be used for the newly established environmental fund. The fund is steered by a committee consisting of representatives from the ministry of environment and tourism, the Namibian Coastal Conservation and Management (Nacoma) project, the ministry of fisheries and marine resources, the Otto Herrigel Trust and the municipality.

The remaining 25% will be retained by the retailers.

Should the regulations be adopted as planned, all shops, supermarkets, vendors and restaurants which make use of plastic bags will be affected. Customers will he charged N$1 if a midi plastic bag and 50 cents if a mini plastic bag is provided to them at the cash register for the purpose of carrying food or merchandise out of an establishment.

During the first public consultation meeting last year, a representative of Plastic Packaging, Jaco Venter, said 15 million plastic bags produced by his company are consumed in Swakopmund annually. He said that at least an additional 10 million plastic bags which are imported by larger retailers from South Africa, can be added to this number.

Karin Herrigel, who runs the Otto Herrigel Trust and who is the driving force behind this initiative, said that with this unique approach to the responsible use of plastic bags, Swakopmund will be a global pioneer.

“We are not only trying to mitigate the damage we do to our environment, but we are trying to change people’s mindsets and the way they think about the things they consume,” she said.

Regulations on the use of plastic bags have also been discussed on a national level with the minister of environment and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, calling for regulations to reduce the use of plastic bags in Namibia.

In his speech which was recently read on his behalf at a World Environment Day event by environmental commissioner Teofilius Nghitila, he also stated that these measures may include the banning of plastic shopping bags or a tax on such bags.

According to him, plastic bags warrant particular attention and regulatory measures to curb their use because of their prevalence, visibility, durability and harmful effects on livestock, wildlife, humans, aquatic life and the broader environment.

Regulations will be introduced in due course in line with the Environmental Investment Fund Act and the Environmental Management Act.

Similar News

 

Namport joins cleaning exercise

4 days ago - 10 December 2018 | Environment

Team Namport heeded the call from the mayor’s office and joined the rest of the Walvis Bay community in cleaning up the harbour town recently....

Safeguarding the environment

3 weeks ago - 19 November 2018 | Environment

A stakeholders' workshop on climate change awareness and climate finance for Namibia was recently held in Swakopmund.Speaking at the opening of the event, the minister...

Nothing sinister about recent whale strandings

1 month - 12 November 2018 | Environment

Otis Finck - The recent spate of humpback whale strandings is no need for concern, says the Namibian Dolphin Project (NDP). Monique Laubscher of the...

Global recognition for environmental education

1 month - 22 October 2018 | Environment

Yolanda Nel - The Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET) was recently announced as one of three winners of the Unesco-Japan prize on Education for...

Mixed bag for rain forecasts

2 months ago - 08 October 2018 | Environment

Yanna Smith When people hear the term El Niño, they tend to panic and see dry tumbleweed and dust devils, dying gardens and empty...

Shifeta trumpets conservation success

2 months ago - 08 October 2018 | Environment

Ellanie Smit Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has shared Namibia’s conservation success story in the United States, while stressing the importance of managing resources sustainably....

Boost for climate mitigation

2 months ago - 01 October 2018 | Environment

Ellanie SmitMore than N$100 million will be spent on the construction of the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management...

Why are our Ana’s dying?

2 months ago - 01 October 2018 | Environment

Erwin Leuschner Hundreds of dead Ana tree trunks dot large areas of the Ugab, especially upriver from the Brandberg massif. In the last...

Youth join phosphate mining fray

2 months ago - 24 September 2018 | Environment

Otis Finck The youth are being mobilised in the fight to oppose marine phosphate mining in Namibia. A petition calling on the ministry of environment...

Scientists say ‘serious flaws in EIA’

2 months ago - 24 September 2018 | Environment

As the deadline for submissions and input to proposed marine phosphate mining looms, natural resource management consultant David Russell has said there are myriad points...

Latest News

Twenty-one shacks destroyed in one...

4 days ago - 10 December 2018 | Crime

Leandrea Louw - Community members took justice into their own hands and attacked two men suspected of burning down 11 shacks and a house, and...

Namport joins cleaning exercise ...

4 days ago - 10 December 2018 | Environment

Team Namport heeded the call from the mayor’s office and joined the rest of the Walvis Bay community in cleaning up the harbour town recently....

Coastal town welcomes CEO

4 days ago - 10 December 2018 | Local News

The new CEO of Swakopmund, Archie Benjamin, was officially introduced to municipal staff on Monday.Speaking at the occasion Benjamin said he was looking forward...

Multimillion dollar plant inaugurated

4 days ago - 10 December 2018 | Business

Leandrea Louw - Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjivikua welcomed the establishment of the N$190 million Peugeot Opel Assembly Nambia Plant in Walvis Bay and commended the...

XMAS COMES EARLY

4 days ago - 10 December 2018 | Others

The winner of the FNB Sandman triathlon video clip competition is Vikki de Jager from Swakopmund. She pockets N$1 000 for her 30-second clip captured...

Kandjimbi crowned queen of the...

4 days ago - 10 December 2018 | Art and Entertainment

Otis Finck - Julia Kandjimbi (19) was crowned as Miss Walvis Bay 2018 on Saturday. Elmorien Otis (19) is her first princess with Victoria Mutilifa...

Charity surprises elderly ...

4 days ago - 10 December 2018 | Local News

The Janet Martin Charity Foundation (JMCF) treated more than 300 senior citizens and a group of vulnerable children to a meal, beverages and gift packs...

Second oldest newspaper turns 60

4 days ago - 10 December 2018 | Local News

Namibia’s second oldest newspaper, the Namib Times, celebrated its 60th birthday on 5 December. The first edition hit the streets of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay...

MYO hosts award ceremony ...

4 days ago - 10 December 2018 | Education

Diana Hamalwa, Namib High School A colourful wave of learners attended the annual Mondesa Youth Opportunities’ (MYO) prize-giving and music showcase with their parents...

Load More