Vaz says gov't is maintaining ban on 'Styrofoam' products

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Vaz says gov't is maintaining ban on 'Styrofoam' products

Friday, December 06, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The government is expected to proceed with implementing a ban on locally manufactured and distributed expanded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) products used in the food and beverage industry.

According to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the ban will take effect on January 1, 2020.

The OPM, in a statement today, said that this follows the implementation of phase one of the ban on the importation of the items, which took effect on January 1 this year.

The OPM said that in light of concerns regarding the availability of suitable alternatives in the local market and requests for a delay in the implementation of the second phase of the ban, policy makers engaged industry stakeholders including the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Small Business Association of Jamaica and individual private sector companies, as well as the relevant public sector entities to consider the concerns.

Minister with responsibility for Land, Environment, Climate Change and Investments, Daryl Vaz, noted that policymakers deliberated on the recommendations put forward by each stakeholder group, keenly considering the availability of suitable alternatives, the OPM said.

“The policy maker's assessment determined that with the increasing availability of viable alternatives, the government is convinced that the timely implementation of this second phase will continue to improve the lives of all Jamaicans as well as safeguard public health and the environment,” the statement said.

According to the statement, Vaz explained that the decision to continue was strengthened by the successful implementation of the first phase of the ban.

“The general acceptance of the ban has been observed across the island – although there are breaches taking place,” the statement read.

The OPM said that to date the state has taken legal action and over 27 individuals and companies have been charged for breaching The Natural Resources Conservation Authority (Plastic Packaging Materials Prohibition) Order, 2018.

"I am encouraging the public to make use of the alternatives available on the market,” Vaz said.

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