By Maria Weldali

AMMAN — Environment Minister Saleh Kharabsheh on Wednesday stressed that plastic bags must meet the standards of Jordanian regulations issued in 2017, highlighting the ministry’s efforts in cooperation with the Jordan Chamber of Industry (JCI) to identify alternative eco-friendly bags.

The 2017 regulations prohibit the use and production of all black plastic bags, excluding black bags used for waste collection, and obliges manufacturers to indicate with a symbol that bags are biodegradable and have obtained the approval of the Environment Ministry and other official entities related to plastic bag recycling.

Kharabsheh’s remarks came during a meeting on Wednesday with President of the Jordan and Amman Chambers of Industry Fathi Jaghbir and plastic manufacturing industry representatives, according to ministry statements published on its social media platforms.

During the meeting, Kharabsheh noted that the ministry has intensified inspections in marketplaces and factories to check on compliance with its regulations on the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags that violate the 2017 biodegradable plastic bag regulation, according to the statement.

Plastic and rubber sector representative and JCI board member Alaa Abu Khaznah said in a statement to The Jordan Times on Thursday that the ministry’s efforts “have been highly praised” by the sector’s representatives, given its comprehensive measures to strengthen positive environmental practices.

“Factories that produce plastic bags, especially large ones, have stopped producing black plastic bags and are adding biodegradable materials to their plastic bags, adhering to the 2017 regulations,” he said.