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  • The Minister, who was addressing the virtual Plastic Waste Management Conference, hosted by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), recently, said it is estimated that each person in Jamaica generates 1.5 kilograms or over 2.5 pounds of waste per day.
  • Minister Charles pointed out that the nation’s plastic consumption, production, and disposal patterns are contrary to the goals of the national development plan, and as such, the Government has embarked on several measures to combat the challenge caused by the manufacture and use of certain categories of finished plastic goods.
  • The Minister said that the ban provides an opportunity for the private sector to “collectively and individually review their operations as well as products and services provided to the domestic market to ensure that they have no adverse impact on the environment.”

Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. says that plastics account for the third-highest category of waste at the island’s disposal facilities.

The Minister, who was addressing the virtual Plastic Waste Management Conference,  hosted by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), recently, said it is estimated that each person in Jamaica generates 1.5 kilograms or over 2.5 pounds of waste per day.

“Although plastics are seen as convenient and a cheap way of packaging goods, it takes a toll on our environment and it is way too costly,” he noted.

“The damage to the nation’s gullies, drainage systems and to the associate infrastructure as well as to our coastal and marine environment are, by far, greater than the benefits provided by these materials, which linger in our environment for many, many years beyond their useful life,” he added.

Minister Charles pointed out that the nation’s plastic consumption, production and disposal patterns are contrary to the goals of the national development plan, and as such, the Government has embarked on several measures to combat the challenge caused by the manufacture and use of certain categories of finished plastic goods.

The measures include a ban on single-use plastics, the first phase of which came into effect in January 2019, and addressed 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.

The third phase of the ban, set to take effect January 1, 2021, relates to the importation, distribution, manufacture, and use of single-use plastic bags of dimension 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.

The Minister said that the ban provides an opportunity for the private sector to “collectively and individually review their operations as well as products and services provided to the domestic market to ensure that they have no adverse impact on the environment.”

“Consumers are encouraged to make informed purchases and consume those products and services that are eco-friendly,” he added.

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