Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Don't wait for styrofoam law says Red Stripe

Published:Friday | October 14, 2016 | 10:00 AM
From left: Neil Grant, engineering and maintenance manager, Red Stripe; Senator Matthew Samuda; and Garth Williams, sustainability manager, Red Stripe, pose for the camera.

Red Stripe is urging members of the business community to be proactive in banning the use of inorganic materials, even as it welcomes the Senate's decision to approve a ban on plastic bags and styrofoam.

A private member's motion by Government Senator Matthew Samuda for the ban was approved on Friday. The matter has now been referred to a multi-stakeholder committee, following which it will go through the legislative process before it can become law.

"We applaud the Senate for its bold move and eagerly await the legislation. But there's no set timeline for this to happen and we believe that as a private sector and individuals, we can make choices right now, today, that are better for the environment," said Garth Williams, Red Stripe's sustainability manager.

Noting that Red Stripe puts significant emphasis on respect for planet, Williams pointed to the fact that the beer company outlawed the use of Styrofoam at its Spanish Town Road brewery years ago.

"We do not allow styrofoam at the plant. Additionally, we recycle much of what we use. Our bottles are all returnable, which reduces the impact on the environment," he added, while noting that the company embraces processes that minimise the amount of waste produced.

PIONEERING MOVE

Williams was in attendance at Friday's Senate sitting for the debate in which the company was recognised for its pioneering move against harmful products.

"I applaud Red Stripe for their stance on banning Styrofoam.

"The reduction of non-biodegradable waste is our responsibility as a nation, and I would encourage other members of the private sector to follow Red Stripe's lead," said Samuda as he opened the debate.

The Senate's approval of the motion has been hailed by several sectors of society who see the move as progressive and timely. The proposed national ban is intended to help protect the environment from the effects of non-biodegradable solid waste.

"The argument against most of the alternatives presented is usually based in cost, but I posit today that the long term cost of not removing these items from our waste stream is far greater. It impacts generations today and generations to come. All of the available science tells us that these items represent problems to our environment and to world sustainability," Samuda argued.

The motion specifically targets plastic bags below a 50-gallon capacity and all finished goods made from styrofoam.