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Govt wants to ban single-use plastic products to protect environment

Plastic straws are being phased out and are being replaced by paper ones.

Plastic straws. Image: David McEachan.

CAPE TOWN - Government wants everyday plastic products like earbuds banned.

Plastic straws are being phased out and are being replaced by paper ones.

Parliament’s environmental affairs committee was on Wednesday given a briefing on single-use plastic products.

What’s the best alternative to plastic straws?

Straws, earbuds, and plastic eating utensils have become a part of modern day life, but they are harmful to our environment and government is gradually accepting they need to be phased out.

Mark Gordon, the deputy director general for chemical waste at the Department of Environmental Affairs, has told MPs jobs won’t be affected.

“We look at these products, what is the availability of an alternative, the cost of this alternative, the market readiness in terms of availability in South Africa and we are quantifying every aspect of this. We don’t want to unnecessarily introduce something where we are really going to skew markets and people can be out of work.”

Gordon told the committee that plastic litters the oceans and beaches, posing a threat to sea animals and nature generally.

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