* Single-use plastic bags prohibited from Nov 15; multi-use or biodegradable ones specified as alternatives
The Ministry of Municipality has announced controls for the use of plastic bags in accordance with the ministerial decision, which prohibits institutions, companies and shopping centres from using single-use plastic bags effective November 15.
It also imposes the use of environmentally friendly alternatives to achieve the strategic objectives of Qatar in preserving the environment and optimal investment in waste recycling.
Ahmed Youssef al-Emadi, director of the Legal Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality, said in a press conference on Thursday, that the decision of HE Minister of Municipality to regulate the use of plastic bags, which was issued in mid-June this month after the Cabinet approved draft Resolution No. (143) for the year 2022, comes as a continuation of the efforts of the Ministry in codifying the legislative system related to solid waste management.
He pointed out that the ministerial decision put a set of important controls for the use of plastic bags, the most important of which is the prohibition of single-use plastic bags in all sales and shopping institutions and outlets, which were defined by the decision as bags made of plastic mainly and have a thickness of less than 40 microns and used once as a packing material before being discarded or recycled.
Al-Emadi stated that the decision specified alternatives to single-use bags with multi-use bags or biodegradable plastic bags, provided that the competent department in the ministry, in co-ordination with the competent authorities, would monitor the implementation of the decision, which will enter into force on November 15.
Engineer Hamad Jassim al-Bahr, director of Waste Recycling and Treatment Department at the Ministry of Municipality, said the ministerial decision comes within a package of legal legislation, programmes and campaigns that the ministry has been working on for a long time, including, for example, the decision to sort solid waste, the programme for sorting waste from the source, and the campaign 'Zero Waste', etc.
He pointed out that the Department of Waste Recycling and Treatment held several meetings with companies and factories producing plastic bags to explain the decision, its objectives and the positive results expected from its implementation as many factories and companies began to reconcile their conditions in line with the requirements of the new decision even before its issuance and approval.
He stressed that, according to the decision, a symbol must be printed on the plastic bags, according to the category of each, indicating that they are biodegradable, reusable or recyclable.
He pointed out that the Ministry of Municipality worked in co-ordination with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to include this point within the requirements for various shops, including major shopping centres, supermarkets and groceries, where the inspection of the implementation of this decision will be the responsibility of the health control departments in the various municipalities that cover all regions of the country, with more than 1,300 male and female inspectors.
He also stressed that the department will continue to co-ordinate and co-operate with the concerned authorities in the country, including government agencies, institutions, companies and factories.
The ministry will also work, through the Public Relations Department, to launch a wide awareness media campaign to educate the public about the harms of single-use bags, and the importance of using multi-use, biodegradable, paper and cloth bags and other environmentally friendly types.
Engineer Mohammed Hassan al-Nuaimi, director of Al-Wakra Municipality, spoke about the municipality’s supervisory role and the requirements for the use of plastic materials and the packaging of plastic bags, referring to the laws and the issuance of records of violations regarding non-compliance with the proper use of plastic materials or their use in packaging consumer food. (QNA)