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  • The Senate has approved a private member’s motion proposing a ban on the use of Styrofoam containers and plastic bags locally.
  • The motion, which was mooted by Government Senator, Matthew Samuda, was unanimously supported following an extensive debate during Friday’s (October 7) Senate sitting at Gordon House.
  • The motion is expected to go before a multi-stakeholder committee falling under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation’s environment portfolio headed by Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz, for consideration and action.

The Senate has approved a private member’s motion proposing a ban on the use of Styrofoam containers and plastic bags locally.

The motion, which was mooted by Government Senator, Matthew Samuda, was unanimously supported following an extensive debate during Friday’s (October 7) Senate sitting at Gordon House.

In opening the debate, Mr. Samuda noted that Styrofoam and plastics take an inordinately long period of time to biodegrade.

He said this and the fact that both materials comprise approximately 50 per cent of the non-biodegradable waste generated locally, posed grave environmental and health concerns for Jamaica.

In light of this, Mr. Samuda contended that it would be far less costly to ban them rather than persist with their usage.

He suggested the use of containers made from or incorporating bio-degradable materials, as well as cardboard which were durable in their design.

The motion generated consensus among members, who acknowledged that its proposal was timely as Jamaica was facing a waste management crisis.

This, they argued, was particularly precipitated by the poor manner in which some persons and entities were wantonly disposing Styrofoam and plastic bags and containers, while adding that the matter needed to be urgently addressed.

The motion is expected to go before a multi-stakeholder committee falling under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation’s environment portfolio headed by Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz, for consideration and action.