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Jamaica: Government examining legislation to strengthen ban on plastics

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(CMC) – The Jamaica government is exploring the possibility of strengthening legislation so as to ensure there are no breaches to the ban on single-use plastics, which takes effect on January, 1, 2019.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, says the Andrew Holness administration will examine the “archaic and outdated’ legislation.

While noting fines ranging between J$50,000 (One Jamaica dollar=US$0.008 cents) to over more than one million dollars for breaches of stipulations under the Natural Resources Conservation Authority and Trade Acts, Vaz said that, “too often we are using archaic outdated legislation and laws that are totally inadequate in terms of the consequences through fines and imprisonment, and whatever else.

“We are looking at that… (and) I can assure the public that there will be teeth (in the law),” he told the launch of the Integrated Water, Land and Ecosystems (IWEco) sub-national project to restore the hydrological and other features of the Negril Great Morass in Westmoreland.

From January 1, the government will commence imposition of the ban on the importation, manufacture, distribution and use of specific categories of plastic packaging material.

They include single-use plastic carrier/shopping bags; expanded polystyrene, commonly called Styrofoam; and plastic drinking straws, which are often improperly discarded, causing significant harm to the environment.

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