Fuel retailers surpass public pledge on plastic bag reduction

Picture: SUPPLIED

MEMBERS of the Fiji Fuel Retailers Association had every reason to celebrate after they surpassed the Government’s public pledge to reduce one million plastic bags in 12 months.

A statement issued by the FFRA stated the association reduced 3.5million plastic bags in 12 months since the introduction of Fiji’s 10 cents levy.

Association secretary Pavan Haer said fuel service station owners trained their staff members to inspire more than 170,000 licensed vehicle drivers and walk-in customers to hand carry purchases or bring a reusable bag since the program was introduced.

Apart from the training, he said there were in-store posters, counter signage and 10,000 vehicle stickers to support the behaviour change and the program.

“The levy is payable by a customer when provided a plastic bag from retailers that use a point of sale payment system and is reflected on receipts. Retailers are required by law to transmit the levy each month to the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service that are responsible for transferring this sum to the Fijian Government’s Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy Fund,” Mr Haer said.

He said the decrease in plastic usage showed the commitments made by members to support the national efforts to protect Fiji’s natural environment.

“It also provides a benchmark for how collective action across industries is needed to ensure the country reduces its single-use plastic bag consumption to a negligible level.

“In the first 12 months, FFRA members have transferred approximately $60,000 to the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service for applying the single-use plastic bag levy at fuel service station convenience stores.”

Mr Haer said selected fuel service station sites were now actively exploring the complete phase-out of single-use plastic bags by introducing reusable bags.

“This lessons will be shared with our members to consider adopting at the next annual general meeting.”

Seventy fuel stations are part of this program.

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