The small Pacific Ocean island state of Vanuatu is leading the global fight against plastic waste, according to a report in yesterday’s Guardian newspaper. The nation is believed to be the first to propose a ban on disposable nappies, to be phased in at the end of this year.

“Vanuatu is safeguarding its future,” said Mike Masauvakalo of the ministry of foreign affairs … “Vanuatu is very vocal about the climate emergency. It is visible, we are living it. It is affecting our food supply and our fish populations.”

“There was a lot of uproar from the community and women’s groups about the ban,” he added, explaining the task to find a replacement that parents would be happy with posed a challenge, but that they were looking into cotton alternatives.

Mr Masauvakalo also states that last year’s plastic bag ban was already having an effect in the country, with less plastic waste on the streets and people using fabric and locally made bags.

Vanuatu has already introduced one of the toughest single-use plastic bans in the world; the first phase in July 2018 banned plastic bags, straws and polystyrene containers. In March 2019 this was followed by bans on other single-use plastic items including plates, cups, stirrers, food containers, egg cartons and flowers.

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