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Gov’t bans plastic bags

A motorcyclist 'Boda-boda' struggles to pass through garbage at Konyo konyo market, Juba

The government has banned importation and use of plastic bags in the country.

The decision was reached following a suggestion made by the Minister of Environment during a cabinet meeting on Friday.

Information Minister Michael Makuei said the order is effective and the public must obey the directive.

“So from now onwards the importation and use of plastic is prohibited, and this order is affirm by the council of ministers,” he said.

Mr Makuei said only non-plastic bags are recommended for use.

“All the people are directed as of now to avoid the importation and the use of plastic bags; instead let us go back to use of papers which are environmentally friendly.”

A similar order was issued by Juba city last month directing the general public to stop importing plastic bags by end of this year.

Kenya, in August also made a similar move that came into effect after three attempts in the past ten years.

Rwanda, in 2008 gave the East African Community a head start by being the first country to prohibit plastic bags.

Now South Sudan becomes the third country in the regional block to ban the use of the bags.

Researchers say plastic bags have negative effect on the environment especially on land and waterways because of its non-biodegradable nature .

There are always alternatives to plastic bags and and paper bags are a possible option but they also take their toll on the environment.