Fri | May 29, 2020

Expand plastic ban

Published:Wednesday | January 15, 2020 | 12:56 AM


The styrofoam ban is a good start, along Jamaica’s path to decrease its carbon footprint and, Jamaicans have, for the most part, been successfully weaned off scandal bags and got used to taking their permanent shopping bags to the supermarket with them. That is a good thing.

However, far more needs to be done, in this critical area of national life. Plastic bags and styrofoam are still prevalent in Jamaica, from the packaging for poultry and other meat products to garbage storage bags (of various sizes) to the millions of plastic bottles being used and thrown away by Jamaican consumers, each and every year.

In terms of plastic bottles, the Government should begin by giving a year’s notice on the banning of the manufacture, importation, sale, purchase of locally made and imported plastic bottles housing sodas. Therefore, leading local plastic bottle manufacturing giants like Wisynco should begin the journey of phasing out plastic bottles (to house their Bigga sodas) and move towards manufacturing glass bottles to house the latter.


In the meantime, the more environmentally friendly tetra paks could be used, in that regard. In the same way that Wisynco successfully transitioned from using tetra paks for its previously plastic bottle-housed juice line, I see no reason why Bigga sodas can’t transition to tetra paks, in short order.

Bottomline, plastics are ruining the local environment, and while the Holness-led administration should be commended for banning single-use plastic bags (of a particular size), plastic straws and styrofoam lunch containers, far more must be done towards environmental improvement and preservation, with an aim for Jamaica to be plastic-free by 2030.