There will be no production, importation, selling or distribution of non-biodegradable plastic bags in Tunisia from December 31, 2019.
The announcement was made on World Environment Day by Minister for the Environment and Local Affairs Riadh Mouakher.
Tunisia is thus continuing its fight against plastic bags that it launched in December 2015, but began having an effect in March 2017 with a ban on non-biodegradable sacks in supermarkets and in pharmacies starting on March 1 of this year.
Producers’ figures show that the use of plastic bags in supermarkets – which account for 30% of total plastic use – was reduced by 94% in the first year of the application of the new regulations.
The December 31, 2019 date was chosen for the total ban, the minister said, after taking into account the needs of manufacturers and distributors, in order to give them time to convert production and adapt to the new regulations.
Mouakher also underscored the ”need to change the mentality of users on the perception of the harmfulness of plastic bags”, adding that an awareness-raising campaign would be brought in to foster greater efforts for environmental protection.