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  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, with responsibility for the Environment, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says two Ministerial Orders have been signed to reinforce the ban on some single-use plastics on January 1, 2019.
  • The Ministerial Orders make it illegal to import expanded polystyrene products, distribute or import plastic bags 24” x 24” or less in size and plastic drinking straws, effective January 1, 2019.
  • “The success of this policy is dependent on a partnership between each and every citizen, not based on fines and prosecution. What I am asking for is partnership, rather than using the big stick approach,” Mr. Vaz said.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, with responsibility for the Environment, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says two Ministerial Orders have been signed to reinforce the ban on some single-use plastics on January 1, 2019.

“Two Ministerial Orders have been gazetted, one under the Trade Act and the other under the Natural Resources and Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act.  These Orders provide the regulatory framework to support the policy measure announced,” he said.

The Minister was speaking at a press conference, held today (December 31), at Jamaica House.

Mr. Vaz pointed out that the penalty for breaches of the ban under the Trade Act 2018 is $2 million, while breaches under the NRCA Act will attract a fine of $50,000. He added that breaches of the ban, as stipulated by both Acts, carry the penalty of imprisonment for a maximum of two years.

Under the Trade Act 2018, Section 8 (1), (a), (b) and (c), and the NRCA Act Section 32 (1) (b), a ‘Trade Plastic Packaging Material Order’ and a ‘Plastic Packaging Prohibiting Order’ were signed by Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, and Minister of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on December 24.

The Ministerial Orders make it illegal to import expanded polystyrene products, distribute or import plastic bags 24” x 24” or less in size and plastic drinking straws, effective January 1, 2019.

Meanwhile, Mr. Vaz is calling for the support of stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the ban, regardless of the legislation.

“The success of this policy is dependent on a partnership between each and every citizen, not based on fines and prosecution. What I am asking for is partnership, rather than using the big stick approach,” Mr. Vaz said.