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The Republic of Seychelles has issued proposals to amend its Environmental Protection Act, 2016 (Act 18 of 2016), and prohibit the use of plastic straws. If accepted, the new prescribed standards would require the use of biodegradable forms of these products.

The island nation of Seychelles is undertaking a major push to reduce the amount of plastic waste it produces. Previously, in July 2017, it prohibited the use of plastic bags, plastic utensils and polystyrene boxes through Statutory Instruments (SI). In both cases, the SI required the alternative use of biodegradable forms of these products.

Seychelles latest proposal, circulated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on October 25, 2018, would ban plastic straws. Exemptions include:

  • Biodegradable straws that conform to:
    • AS 4736-2006
    • ASTM D6400
    • EN 13432
    • ISO 14855
  • Straws that form part of a pre-packaged beverage or product

In essence, the ban will apply to straws used in individual drinks, for example cocktails, but would not apply to carton drinks.

The proposal was circulated as an attachment to WTO document 18-6702 and notified under G/TBT/N/SYC/4. It has a proposed enforcement date from January 1, 2019.

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