The Solomon Islands Government has held consultations for its upcoming ban on single-use plastic ©SPREP

The Solomon Islands is continuing to hold consultations on banning single-use plastics prior to its first hosting of the Pacific Games later this year.

The country is due to enforce a regulation from September 1 that will see all such materials from import, manufacture, distribution, and sale barred.

A series of national consultations have been held by the Government in order to inform, engage, and receive feedback from key stakeholders on the development of the ban.

More than 90 representatives from the Government, business and private sector, and local communities came together to provide thoughts on how to improve the first drafts of the regulation.

The impact on small businesses and ways to prevent illegal trade and unauthorised usage of single-use plastics were all taken into consideration. 

"The road to a plastic-free future needs more than just a ban; it necessitates a comprehensive transition towards environmentally friendly alternatives," said deputy secretary corporate of the Solomon Islands Ministry of environment, climate change, disaster management and meteorology Karl Kuper.

"I urge all of you to explore and promote sustainable alternatives to single use plastic.

"Let us encourage the use of reusable bags, biodegradable packaging and eco-friendly substitutes for everyday plastic items."

The Solomon Islands Government is set to ban single-use plastics from September 1, prior to the beginning of the Pacific Games on November 19 ©Getty Images
The Solomon Islands Government is set to ban single-use plastics from September 1, prior to the beginning of the Pacific Games on November 19 ©Getty Images

The items proposed for the ban include plastic shopping bags, straws, cups, plates and cutlery, polystyrene Styrofoam takeaway products and polyethylene terephthalate bottles for drinking water that can contain less than 1.5 litres.

Kuper claims that the ban will drive companies towards other, more environmentally friendly solutions.

He also states that it will position the Solomon Islands at the forefront of a "green economy" which will attract investment and showcase the country as responsible and progressive.

The move to ban single-use plastics is part of the Australian Government-funded Pacific Ocean Litter Project (POLP) which aims to reduce pollution in the sea.

POLP is an innovation of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

"We are proud of our partnership with the Solomon Islands Government and other partners in greening the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara," said SPREP director of the waste management and pollution control division Anthony Talouli.

"The project through funding support from Australia has made a large investment in making the Games free from single-use plastics. 

"This is part of a number of initiatives that the project will roll out through to 2027."

The ban is also a legacy goal of the upcoming Pacific Games, which are scheduled to take place from November 19 to December 2.