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Seventy fuel service stations have reduced three and a half million single use plastic bags from its convenience stores in the first twelve months since Fiji introduced its ten cents plastic bag levy on 1 August 2017.

The Fiji Fuel Retailers Association (FFRA) announced this remarkable achievement crediting its members for this success.

In supporting the Fijian Government’s announcement of the ten cents plastic bag levy in its 2017 – 2018 national budget, FFRA initially made a public pledge to reduce one million plastic bags in twelve months through its fuel service station convenience stores.

Fiji Fuel Retailers Association secretary Pavan Haer says that since the introduction of the ten cents plastic bag levy, fuel service station owners trained their convenience store employees to inspire over one hundred and seventy thousand licensed vehicle drivers and walk-in customers to hand carry purchases or bring a reusable bag; In-store posters, counter signage and ten thousand vehicle stickers were also introduced to further encourage this behavior change.

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 reiterated that the decrease of three and a half million single use plastic bags demonstrated commitment by its members to support national efforts that 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 twelve months, FFRA members have transferred approximately eighty five thousand dollars to the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service for applying the single use plastic bag levy at fuel service station convenience stores.

“Selected fuel service station sites are now actively exploring the complete phase out of single use plastic bags by introducing reusable bags. These lessons and increasing green consumer expectations will be shared with our members to consider adopting at the next annual general meeting”, he concluded.

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