Oman's ban on thin plastic bags to dampen polymer demand

07 January 2009 12:48  [Source: ICIS news]

Polymer demand dampened on Oman plastic bag banSINGAPORE (ICIS news)--A recent crackdown on thin plastic shopping bags by the Sultanate of Oman is expected to slow the country's demand for polymers in the near term, traders and converters said on Wednesday.

In the short term, the ban would further dampen already weak demand for polymers in Oman, said a polymer trader.

"In Oman, makers of thin plastic bags use polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) film. So this regulation will temporarily slow demand for PE and PP," he said.

On 1 January this year, the Sultanate implemented a new regulation banning the production, trade and use of PE bags with a thickness of less than 30 microns on environmental grounds.

The regulation follows on the heels of a similar ban enacted by the United Arab Emirates and African countries in recent years.

However, in the long term the new regulation mandating the production of thicker plastic bags would lead to increased consumption of polymers while also protecting the environment, a second polymer trader said.

 “The thin bags pollute the beachfronts and block sewerage lines and pose an environmental hazard, so the Sultanate is entirely justified in banning them,” said the second trader.

The regulation would encourage consumers to recycle the bags and minimise waste disposal problems, a converter said.

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By: Prema Viswanathan
+65 6780 4359



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