Fiji Plastic Bag Charge Goes Into Effect;

Consumers to be charged 5 cents per bag if they don't bring reusable ones

By Selita Bolanavanua

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, July 29, 2017) –  As the Fijian Government walks the talk in its Climate Change related initiatives, plastic bag producing companies may feel the brunt of the new plastic bag levy when it comes into effect next Tuesday.

In the 2017/2018 National Budget, Government announced that ten cents [US$0.05] will be charged per bag used in order to reduce plastic waste and usage.

Some plastic bag manufacturers said that while they supported Government’s initiative, the plastic bag tax will affect their business.

M Hanif Industries Ltd Manager, Imran Hanif said he is expecting a 20 per cent loss to his business.

This may result in ceasing the entire production of plastic bags by the Lautoka based company.

“If it gets really bad, the company might stop the production of plastic bags and we might go into producing paper bags.”

But Mr Hanif said investing in paper bags is too expensive and they do not have any plans at the moment to move in that direction.

“It is good for the environment because of the on-going global issues,” he said.

Amalgamated Sales Co Limited managing director, Billy Nabi said the protection of our environment was more important.

His company produces 100,000 tonnes of plastic bags annually.

20 per cent of this is exported to countries in the region.

Most of the plastic bags they produce are for manufacturing operations and not retail.

“We will not feel the impact as much as those companies that supply to retail operators. They will be worst hit.”

Narseys Plastics Industries Limited, one of the biggest manufacturers of plastic bags refused to comment when contacted several times during the week.

The 10 cents per bag levy will be imposed on plastic bags at the point of sale. It is to encourage shoppers to use their own re-usable carry bags.

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority had said the tax is applicable to all businesses but implemented on a phased approach beginning with all business with the Point of Sale System.

Under the Environment Levy (Budget Amendment) Act 2017, the ten cents levy is payable by a customer when provided a plastic bag from retailers that use a Point of Sale system and will be reflected on invoices and receipts.

Retailers are required to then transfer the levy monthly to the FRCA separately from the service turnover and value added tax.

Fiji Fuel Retailers Association has indicated that 75 fuel service stations would introduce the ten cents levy on single use plastic bags from next Tuesday.

Members of the public are encouraged to use reusable bags.

FijiSUN
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Comments

The opening statement on the article on "Fiji Plastic Bag Charge Goes Into Effect" is quite misleading as your writer reported about a 5 cents levy on consumers for not bringing reusable bags. Correct me if i'm wrong, doesn't it have to be 10 cents? It was even mentioned in the Fiji national budget announcement in June.

PIR is a United States based news service and we always provide conversion of local currencies into the US dollar equivalence. 10 cents in Fiji is approximately 5 cents in the United States as per the Oanda currency converter <https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/>. Thank you for your support.

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