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  • Persons or businesses, which have been found guilty for breaches under the Orders in the parish courts are liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and $2 million, respectively, or a term of one-year imprisonment at hard labour.
  • This phase relates to the importation, distribution, manufacture, and use of commercial single-use plastic bags of dimensions not exceeding 24”x24” (610mm X 610mm), and thickness of 2.5 mils (0.06mm).
  • Phase one of the ban on single-use plastics, which took effect in January 2019 was on the importation, manufacture, distribution, and use of specific types of plastic carriers below 25-gallon capacity packaging, while the second phase, which was effected in January of this year, was on polystyrene foam.

Forty-one companies and individuals have been charged for breaches of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (Plastic Packaging Materials Prohibition (PPM) Orders since the implementation of the ban on single use plastics in 2019.

Chief Executive Officer and Governemnt Town Planner, NEPA, Peter Knight, in making the disclosure, said that 27 persons have already been convicted. “The remaining matters are set for trial in 2021,” he noted.

Persons or businesses, which have been found guilty for breaches under the Orders in the parish courts are liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and $2 million, respectively, or a term of one-year imprisonment at hard labour.

Mr. Knight was speaking at a virtual press conference on Friday (December 18), to announce details about the third phase of the ban on single-use plastics, which starts on January 1, 2021.

This phase relates to the importation, distribution, manufacture, and use of commercial single-use plastic bags of dimensions not exceeding  24”x24”  (610mm X 610mm), and thickness of 2.5 mils (0.06mm).

It also includes drinking straws made wholly or in part of polyethylene or polypropylene, manufactured for single use, and attached to, or forming part of the packaging of juice boxes or drink pouches.

Businesses and consumers will be given a six-month grace period in which to become fully compliant before the ban is enforced.

Phase one of the ban on single use plastics, which took effect in January 2019 was on the importation, manufacture, distribution and use of specific types of plastic carriers below 25-gallon capacity packaging, while the second phase, which was effected in January of this year, was on polystyrene foam.

As it relates to the ban on polystyrene, Mr. Knight commended those stakeholders, who are successfully transitioning to paper and cardboard-based biodegradable food containers, but noted that there remains a proliferation in the use of other plastic food containers by some restaurants, cookshops, and industry players.

“This is a major concern of the agency and the Government, which has been expressed by a number of stakeholders in the media,” he noted.

In the meantime, Mr. Knight said that based on assessments carried out as part of the recently concluded regulatory impact assessment on single-use plastics, the Government will be pursuing a number of new policy options.

Additionally, he said that NEPA is executing a Plastic Waste Minimization Project, funded by Japan through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which will support and build on the Government’s trust to reduce the use of single-use plastics.

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