The Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) has stated on its Facebook page that Egypt’s Red Sea governorate has issued a decree banning all single-use plastics.
Decree no. 167 for 2019 was issued by Governor General Ahmed Abdullah and will come into force, effective throughout the Egyptian Red Sea, as of 1 June this year. HEPCA will also be launching a plastic awareness campaign and clean-up initiatives in association with schools, dive centres, hotels and the Red Sea community.
According to the report: ‘The decree is to protect the threatened and endangered species which are severely affected by ingestion, starvation, suffocation, drowning, entanglement and toxicity from plastic remains which affects the human health accordingly.’
The ban on single-use plastic bags will apply to ‘any food-related outlets within the Red Sea such as restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets, groceries, butchers, fisheries, fruits and vegetables shops and pharmacies,’ says the report. The decree also prohibits the production of such bags within the extent of the governorate. The ban will also extend to ‘single-use plastic cutleries used in food and beverage in restaurants and coffee shops as well as safari and daily boats such as knives, plugs, plastic hooks, cups and dishes.’ Heavy-duty garbage bags are exempted from the new ban.
The Red Sea governorate lies between the Nile and the Red Sea, extending from Egypt’s southern border to the town of Zaafara in the Gulf of Suez. As such, all of the mainland resorts, offshore islands and national parks are included within its remit. It does not, however, extend to the South Sinai governorate, which covers the Gulf of Aqaba and resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab.
Replying to a comment querying whether this region is covered, a representative from HEPCA replied that ‘the decree is issued by the Red Sea governor, hence, it is applicable in the Red Sea governorate only.’ There appears to be no official news about the South Sinai governorate’s position at this time, however, it is hoped that a similar ban on single-use plastics will be implemented in the near future.
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