Gov't rejects call for Styrofoam ban delay
The Government says it will proceed with implementing the ban on locally manufactured and distributed Styrofoam products used in the food and beverage industry, which takes effect on January 1, 2020.
This follows the implementation of phase one of the ban on the importation of the items, which took effect on January 1 this year.
In light of concerns regarding the availability of suitable alternatives in the local market and requests for a delay in the implementation of the second phase of the ban, policymakers engaged industry stakeholders including the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Small Business Association of Jamaica and individual private sector companies, as well as the relevant public sector entities to consider the concerns.
Daryl Vaz, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Land, Environment, Climate Change and Investments, noted that policymakers deliberated on the recommendations put forward by each stakeholder group, keenly considering the availability of suitable alternatives.
But, Vaz says the policymaker’s assessment determined that with the increasing availability of viable alternatives, the Government is convinced that the timely implementation of this second phase will continue to improve the lives of all Jamaicans as well as safeguard public health and the environment.
Vaz explained that the decision to continue was strengthened by the successful implementation of the first phase of the ban.
According to him, the general acceptance of the ban has been observed across the island, although there are breaches taking place.
He said, to date, over 27 individuals and companies have been charged for breaching The Natural Resources Conservation Authority (Plastic Packaging Materials Prohibition) Order, 2018.
Vaz is encouraging Jamaicans to make use of alternatives available on the market.