By Staff Reporter
Pick n Pay (PnP) Namibia; a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group has announced that it will be charging 50 cents per grocery plastic bag at all its stores across the country with effect from this month.
The move comes in the wake of anti-plastic lobbying that has been pressuring government to institute an outright ban on the use of non-biodegradable plastic to help clean the environment.
PnP Namibia is currently running its ‘PLASTIC or PLANET’ campaign aimed at encouraging the responsible use of plastic, from which the decision to charge for plastic bags was born.
Authorities have in the meantime banned plastic bag use in the country’s nature parks.
PnP Namibia Marketing Manager, Victoria Möller said “Plastic has a critical purpose in various industries.
It is thus not the plastic as such that is the problem but rather the behavior of us humans with the use and treatment of plastic that has led to the unfortunate impact it has on the planet today.
Charging for plastic carrier bags has been proven to increase awareness amongst users and it is therefore important for PnP Namibia, as a caring Namibian entity, to play our part in raising awareness and sustaining our environment.”
Möller further encourages customers to rather opt for the re-usable grocery shopping bag that is also available for purchase at any PnP store countywide. A thicker, stronger carrier bag (thicker than the current 25 microns) which can be used more than once will also be introduced at all PnP stores.
A portion of the 50 cents paid for the plastic bag by customers will be donated to the Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF) in support of its educational awareness campaigns to promote the Reducing, Reusing and Recycling (3R) programs and activities.
RNF Coordinator, Anita Witt: “We are most appreciative of Pick n Pay Namibia’s ongoing support towards the RNF, making them the first retailer in Namibia to do so.
The relationship started a few years ago when PnP linked up with the RNF in its Bag to Nature campaign, which promoted the use of reusable PnP shopping bags instead of one way plastic bags.
The uptake in reusable shopping bags has been tremendous, however we believe that it is time to take the awareness-raising to the next level.”
The decision to charge for plastic shopping bags will remind customers to make a conscious decision on the most preferable option of how to take their shopping home.
Whether opting for a plastic bag or a reusable shopping bag, customers will still be supporting the RNF to continue the roll out of environmental education at school level.
With the income derived from the plastic bag charge, the RNF will increase its engagement at schools currently participating in our Schools Recycling competition, while also expanding the competition to include more schools in rural areas.
The ‘PLANET or PLASTIC’ campaign by PnP Namibia provides tips on how to effectively and productively use plastic bags instead of throwing them away. Plastic is a 100% recyclable commodity.
According to Gondwana, a spot fine of N$500 (about 32 Euros) must be paid, when found with forbidden plastic bags inside a park by officials while alternatively, a prison term of up to six months could be ordered or both a fine and imprisonment. Some plastic bags will be exempted.