The Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation would like to inform the general public about three orders made by the Minister of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Environment, Energy and Disaster Management, the Honourable Ham Lini Vanuaroroa.

 

The Waste Management Orders

On 1 February 2018, the Honourable Minister signed three orders made under the Waste Management Act No. 24 of 2014. The orders address three waste issues and implement the decision of the Council of Ministers to ban certain non-biodegradable plastics. The orders address:

  1. The control of single use plastic bags, plastic straws and polystyrene takeaway boxes
  2. Littering
  3. The licensing of private waste operators.

Control of single use plastic bags, plastic straws and polystyrene takeaway boxes

From 1 July 2018 it will be an offence to:

  • Manufacture, sell, give or otherwise provide single use plastic bags other than to contain, wrap or carry meat or fish. Single use plastic bags are shopping bags that are made out of polyethylene less than 35 microns thick.
  • Manufacture, sell, give or otherwise provide polystyrene takeaway boxes.
  • Manufacture, sell, give or otherwise provide plastic straws.

The Department is currently working with a number of partners to develop information and awareness materials about the ban. In particular, to guide the general public about what items are banned and what plastic items will still be available. If you have a particular question, please contact us at the Department so that it can be included in these awareness materials.

Littering

Since 1 February 2018 it has been an offence to deposit litter or waste in a public place. Persons caught littering may be issued a fine for:

  • 5,000 vatu for a first offence
  • 10,000 vatu for a subsequent offence.

All fines are payable to the government cashier at the Department of Finance and Treasury within 21 days. Alternatively, you may choose to contest the fine in court.

Currently, fines may only be issued by the Director of the Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation. Officers from the Department will be working with other government agencies in the coming months to consider whether other agencies may also be authorised to issue fines.

The licensing of private waste operators

The Waste Management Act establishes two types of waste operators: designated waste management operators (Municipal and Provincial Councils and the Department); and private waste operators. Under the Act, private waste operators should have a licence.

From 1 July 2018, persons carrying out the following waste operations and services will require a licence:

  • Operating a landfill
  • Operating a controlled waste dump
  • Operating a waste transfer station that has the capacity to store more than 5 litres of liquid waste or more than 1 tonne of solid waste
  • Operating a recycling centre
  • Operating a waste treatment plant
  • Operating a composting plant that has the capacity to process 5 tonnes or more a day
  • Operating a waste incinerator, other than those operated by the Ministry of Health or Biosecurity Vanuatu
  • Providing a waste collection and transport service.

The Department is currently preparing implementation materials, including application forms, to give effect to this licensing regime and will be undertaking further consultation directly with private waste operators over the next four months.

More information

The Department will be releasing more detailed information about the requirements of the new orders made under the Waste Management Act. For more information about these initiatives or to share any questions you would like incorporated into the information and awareness materials, please contact the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation:

Port Vila: Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology & Geo-Hazards, Environment, Energy and Disaster Management compound, Nambatu
PMB 9063, Port Vila
Phone: (678) 25302 / 33430
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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