Jamaica government make the decision of the third phase of single-use plastic ban

Pearnel Charles Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Jr Jamaica, states he will be making a decision shortly on the third phase of the Government's prohibition on single-use plastic, which takes impact in January 2021.

Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr
Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr

Kingston, Jamaica:Pearnel Charles Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Jr Jamaica, states he will be making a decision shortly on the third phase of the Government’s prohibition on single-use plastic, which takes impact in January 2021.

This phase will incorporate single-use plastic bags, including dimensions above 24 x 24 inches and a width of 2.5 mils.

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“A ban will also be placed on single-use drinking straws made wholly or in part of polyethene or polypropylene, attached to juice boxes or drink pouches,” the minister said.

He was talking on the first day of the inaugural three-day plastic waste management conference held virtually yesterday.

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

Charles Jr said that despite some initial hesitation, the response from the business sector to the ban “has been overwhelmingly positive”, noting that there is a private-sector-led deposit refund plan, which will provide a cash refund to customers who return their plastic bottles.

The initiative, to be implemented by Recycling Partners Jamaica Limited, is intended to reduce littering and encourage recycling.

Charles Jr encouraged the private sector to use the ban as an economic opportunity to turn ‘trash into cash’ and to review their operations, as well as the products and services provided to the domestic market, in order to ensure that they are more environmentally friendly.

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He also urged consumers to make informed purchases about the products and services that they buy.

“The new opportunities and benefits for both consumers and producers are many, and in the long run, it is Jamaica and Jamaicans who will benefit,” the minister noted.

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