Tue | Sep 18, 2018

PM to make statement on plastic, styrofoam pollution

Published:Saturday | August 4, 2018 | 12:00 AM
From second left: Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen, Lady Allen, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and Juliet Holness look on as Director of the Jamaica Music Museum at the Institute of Jamaica, Herbie Miller points out the features of an early form of banjo used in Jamaican folk music. The occasion was the Governor-General’s Independence Reception and Exhibition at King’s House on Thursday night.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said he will be making an announcement shortly on measures to combat plastic and styrofoam pollution.

"I think we must now, after reflecting and celebrating our Independence, make a commitment to protect and preserve our environment. I intend, very shortly, just after the Independence celebration, to make some announcements regarding plastics and styrofoam," he said.

"It cannot be that we use our Independence, our freedom, as it were, to litter our environment and to light our dump on fire. It cannot be."

Holness was speaking at Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen's Independence Reception and Exhibition on the lawns of King's House on Thursday.

Cabinet, in March 2017, set up a multi-stakeholder working group chaired by Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr. to investigate the use and disposal of plastic packaging materials in Jamaica and the impact on the environment.

This was in response to a motion tabled by Senator Matthew Samuda that called for a ban on plastic bags below a 50-gallon capacity and on styrofoam, unless it contains an enzyme to facilitate its biodegradability.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said that the nation has the ability "to be greater than we currently are", and he is encouraging all Jamaicans to recommit to strengthening economic growth and improving the standard of living.

"I believe that we are a great country. We have achieved much, but we can achieve so much more if we are committed to the highest standards as a nation," Holness said.

"As we celebrate our freedom and our Independence, I think we should use this as a time to recommit ourselves to achieving the highest standards for our country."