Oman has announced that it will ban the import of plastic bags in three months' time.
Qais Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, said the ban would be effective from January 1 next year.
Ministerial Decision No. 519/2022 states that companies, institutions and individuals are prohibited from importing plastic bags.
Breeching the ban will be punishable by a fine of RO1,000 ($2,597). The amount may be doubled for a repeat offence.
Oman’s Environment Authority introduced a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags on January 1 this year, with a minimum fine of 100 rials for offenders, and a maximum of 2,000 rials, the amount doubling every time the same organisation or person is found guilty of breaking the rule.
Single-use bags were replaced with thicker 50-micron bags, which are provided free at most shops.
Oman is one of many countries in the region working towards reducing its dependency on single-use plastics that are responsible for thousands of marine animals getting killed each year by ingesting plastic or getting tangled in it.