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Senator pushes for Jamaica to ban plastic bags, styrofoam

Published:Friday | April 22, 2016 | 6:25 PM
In this file photo, members of the Lions Club of St Elizabeth South, the Treasure Beach Women's Group and the Bethel Gospel Chapel joined in cleaning up the Fort Charles Beach in St Elizabeth. In 2013, more than 700 plastic bottles along with 12 bags of garbage and debris were collected.

Generation 2000 (G2K) president Senator Matthew Samuda is to table a Private Member's Motion in the Senate for a ban on the importation of some plastic bags and styrofoam containers. 

His announcement coincides with Earth Day being recognised today to encourage people to support environmental protection.

According to Samuda, styrofoam and plastic are major problems at landfills and Jamaica doesn't do enough recycling to solve the problem.


G2K president Senator Matthew Samuda

He says a ban on the importation of plastic bags below 50 gallons would encourage local producers to make reusable bags which last longer and are environmentally friendly.


G2K president Senator Matthew Samuda

Samuda says he will bring the motion to parliament as soon as he is permitted to do so.

Earlier this month Guyana declared a ban on the importation of styrofoam and said its Finance Ministry was considering tax incentives for importers interested in bringing in alternatives.