Vaz updates House on plastics ban

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Vaz updates House on plastics ban

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, informed the House of Representative today that Jamaica has now moved on to phase two of the ban on plastics, by restricting the manufacturing and distribution of Styrofoam products in the food and beverage industry.

“However, we expect an even smoother transition from the use of Polystyrene products to the alternatives on the market, for the simple reason that persons and businesses have had a much longer time to prepare themselves for the ban,” Vaz explained.

He recalled that when the plastic ban was announced in September, 2018, at the same time the ministry also announced that the ban on Styrofoam products would come into effect in January 2020.

“I believe that 15 months is more than adequate time for businesses to identify suitable alternative packaging at cost effective prices,” he said.

He noted that one of the concerns was that the alternatives would not be available in quantities to support the policy ban.However, the market had responded with a variety of reusable bags, containers and paper straws making the transition easier.

“We also expect that the prices for alternatives will trend downwards in the coming months, based on the fact that businesses would have retooled, as well as the competition in the market place,” Vaz said.

“I should note that the sole local manufacturer of polystyrene (Styrofoam) products has opted to close that section of his business. It is unfortunate that in the process, 100 persons were made redundant. However, at the core of the policy's implementation, is a greater focus on pollution control, with the aim of improving the lives of all Jamaicans, as well as safeguarding public health and the environment,” he said.

“The measures we are adopting have Jamaica at heart, and it is Jamaica that will ultimately be the winner,” he added.

Balford Henry

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