Written Submissions Invited on Use of Plastics and Styrofoam

Photo: JIS Photographer The House of Representative.

Story Highlights

  • The public is invited to make written submissions on a motion tabled in Parliament for a ban on specific types of plastic packaging materials and styrofoam.
  • Chairman of the multi-stakeholder Working Group on Plastic Packaging Materials, Dr. Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr., said the written responses are important in gaining a deeper appreciation of the public experience and ascertaining views about the use of the materials and their contribution to the build-up of solid waste.
  • Persons are invited to send their written submissions by email to Info@recyclingpartnersja.com. The deadline is Friday, August 25, 2017.

The public is invited to make written submissions on a motion tabled in Parliament for a ban on specific types of plastic packaging materials and styrofoam.

The call follows an online survey, which opened in May, also seeking feedback on the matter.

Chairman of the multi-stakeholder Working Group on Plastic Packaging Materials, Dr. Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr., said the written responses are important in gaining a deeper appreciation of the public experience and ascertaining views about the use of the materials and their contribution to the build-up of solid waste.

“So, we have been getting indicative information as to what the mood of the public is like towards a ban on styrofoam and some plastic packaging materials, but I felt that we need to get more substantive feedback,” he said.

“I wanted to get more examples and hear the experiences of the public in terms of their interaction with styrofoam. Is it that you live near a gully that is chock-full of styrofoam or have a beach hotel where styrofoam washes up. Is it that you are a producer of styrofoam or a cookshop operator who needs the cheaper material to be able to make a living,” he pointed out.

The working group was set up by Cabinet in March 2017 in response to a motion tabled by Senator Matthew Samuda, which called for a ban on plastic bags below a 50-gallon capacity and on styrofoam, unless it contains an enzyme to facilitate its biodegradability.

Dr. Lyew-Ayee said the responses from the public will enable the group to reach “the most likely, balanced decision”.

“The last thing we would want to do is set in place a ban that is toothless, that cannot be enforced or will result in a pushback by the industry… . I need to know what the reality is,” he argued.

He is urging players in the plastics and styrofoam industry, who have raised concern that a ban could result in loss of jobs and investment, to put forward their arguments in writing.

The working group will host public sessions in early to mid-September to facilitate further dialogue on the subject.

Persons are invited to send their written submissions by email to Info@recyclingpartnersja.com. The deadline is Friday, August 25, 2017.

The online survey can be completed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZSVCL7G or on the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation website at www.megjc.gov.jm.

Feedback obtained from the questionnaire and written submissions will inform the recommendations of the working group.

JIS Social