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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Post-Courier, Mar. 23) - Papua New Guinea Environment and Conservation Minister Zibe Sasa has called for suggestions from the public and stakeholders on how to solve fast-increasing pollution created by plastic bags.

Sasa invited all interested parties to forward written suggestions to the Department of Environment and Conservation to help formulate a national policy.

Indiscriminate use and careless disposal of plastic bags, particularly in cities and towns, has been identified as a major contributing factor to solid waste pollution. 

There has been mounting public concern.

In a ministerial directive to the Environment and Conservation Department, Sasa said there was lack of action to address the plastic bag pollution.

"The purpose of this ministerial directive is for DEC to embark on the task of finding ways to address the ever-increasing problem on the use of plastic bags in Papua New Guinea," he said.

The minister directed the department to undertake this "important task" by following a work program. This includes invitation for comments and suggestions from stakeholders with information collection and analysis. 

This would be followed by Papua New Guinea-wide awareness and a drafted submission for the National Executive Council in the last quarter, he said.

March 24, 2003

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