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Editors' Forum | Refuse the plastic bags - NEPA urges Jamaicans to make the switch to reusables

Published:Wednesday | December 26, 2018 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris/ Staff Reporter
Ollyvia Anderson, public relations officer at NEPA.

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has intensified its campaign to get Jamaicans to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic bags by either refusing or reusing them.

Although the focus will be on banning the importation, manufacturing, and distribution of these materials come January 1, 2019, NEPA is hoping that its various campaigns will get Jamaicans to reduce their dependence on them.

"Since the ban was announced, everything that NEPA has done has been on plastic throughout all our public education, and we have also done work on social media," said public relations officer at NEPA Ollyvia Anderson.

"We have three PSAs (public service announcements) now running on 11 radio stations, and one is a jingle," Anderson told a Gleaner Editors' Forum at the newspaper's North Street offices last Friday.

"We have done above-the-line and below-the-line communication. We have done a town-hall meeting with the consumer league because we wanted to get the consumers' input," she added.

Anderson said that NEPA has also done fairs, attended Kiwanis meetings, and met with the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, and other industry stakeholders.

"We have been doing the work, and we will continue. What we are going to do is that we are sustaining our presence in the digital space as well as on radio and TV," added Anderson as she urged Jamaicans to carry reusable bags while grocery shopping.

"We want when persons go to buy their lunches and they get the little scandal bags, even if they may not get it in an alternative food box at this moment, to refuse the bag. They don't need it," said Anderson.

"Take your cutlery to work, and have the food. You don't need the plastic fork," urged Anderson.

nadine.wilson@gleanerjm.com