Disposable silverware (illustrative)
Disposable silverware (illustrative)iStock

The coalition has canceled the decision of the Knesset's Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee and approved an order by municipalities to ban the use of disposables on beaches in the Hof Hacarmel Regional Council, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

Earlier this week, MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) and MK Osama Saadi (Joint Arab List) prevented the order from being approved.

The order would include a fine on those caught breaking the ban and using disposables at the beaches.

However, the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee rejected the order out of hand, although it later ordered a new discussion on the matter.

"In practice, the supervisors in the local authorities are not usually forgiving towards citizens, and this is something that we need to pay attention to," Maklev explained during the Committee discussion.

"This type of order sets a dangerous precedent in its legal approach. When there is no prohibition against using disposables, and a person does not litter or pollute the environment - how can we fine him? In practice you are asking to turn an honest person into a criminal on the basis of a crime which he may in the future commit and we're not certain about. Legislation such as this must first be legislated by the Knesset plenum, and not by way of a municipal bylaw."

He also called to exempt disposable cups from the order, since anyone spending time at the beach during Israel's hot summer must drink a great deal, and since there is a difference between drinking cups and the more polluting food utensils.

"This is a draconian law and especially harmful since it comes without accommodations for the facts on the ground," Maklev explained. "There is an attempt here to educate the public by means of fines instead of education."

Hof Hacarmel is not the first council in Israel to ban disposables at the beach. Last year, Ashdod banned beachgoers from bringing disposable plastic bags and utensils onto the beach.