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Styrofoam ban should be immediate - Davis

Published:Wednesday | January 16, 2019 | 12:00 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Homer Davis


Montego Bay's mayor Councillor Homer Davis, who is also the chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation, says he is disappointed that instead of immediate action, styrofoam is being given a much longer time to continue to destroy the environment.

In seeking to protect the environment and marine life, the Government declared a ban on certain single-use plastic and styrofoam products. The ban on plastic, including those measuring anywhere below 24 inches by 24 inches, took effect on January 1.

However, the ban on polystyrene foam, which is used to create the styrofoam items that are used mainly in the food and beverage industry, will not take effect until January 1, 2021.




"My only disappointment is, why does styrofoam have to be in circulation for another two years?" said Davis, while addressing a recent National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) meeting in Montego Bay, St James.

According to Davis, while a ban is to be placed on the importation of styrofoam, he told the meeting, which included Peter Knight, NEPA's chief executive officer, that a two-year wait to apply the ban on styrofoam use is untenable.

"Believe me, if I am to measure what they have done in terms of blocking drains along with those bottles, I think they contribute just as much, or even more than the plastic bags," said Davis. "It is an initiative that I am happy that the people have endorsed."

On November 22, 2017, Montego Bay was severely battered by heavy rains, which pelted the city for four hours. This resulted in major flooding, which caused damage to homes, businesses, and motor vehicles, causing significant dislocation in the commercial sector.

In the post-mortem that followed the flooding, it was discovered that the blockage of the drains by styrofoam boxes, plastic bottles, plastic bags, and other plastic-based debris was primarily responsible for the flooding.