Mr. Speaker, let me take this opportunity to wish yourself, the staff of Parliament and my esteemed colleagues on both sides of the divide, a happy, safe, and prosperous new year at the beginning of a new decade.
I stand here today to give you a brief update on the plastic ban which includes the ban on polystyrene (Styrofoam) products used in the food and beverage industries as of January 1, 2020.
I will also give a brief update on the upcoming third phase which includes plastic PET bottles, recycling and the Deposit Refund Scheme.
Update on the Ban on Single Use Plastics
Mr. Speaker, on September 17, 2018, the Government of Jamaica announced a policy to implement a ban on single-use plastic (scandal) bags, plastic drinking straws and expanded polystyrene foam products used in the food and beverage industry in three phases starting January 1, 2019.
The ban is but one measure to safeguard the nation’s natural and built environments. The Ministry of Economic Growth & Job Creation was challenged to fast-track the Orders to support implementation. Two Orders were prepared and gazetted on December 24, 2018.
● The Natural Resources Conservation Authority (Plastic Packaging Materials Prohibition) Order, 2018
● The Trade (Plastic Packaging Materials Prohibition) Order, 2018
Mr. Speaker, the Government developed and implemented a public education programme, using all media to support the ban.