Government pleased with response to ban on certain styrofoam, plastic products — Vaz

Minister Daryl Vaz

Environment minister Daryl Vaz says the Government is pleased with the overwhelming positive national reaction and response to the ban on some styrofoam and plastic products.

“The support is estimated at over 90 per cent coming from the sector groups, other stakeholders and consumers in general,” he told the House of Representatives on Tuesday (Jan 14).

The minister said clear evidence of the positive response is the rapid disappearance of single-use plastic bags and plastic straws from the trade and the pronounced behaviour change and attitude coming from the Jamaican people.

He said six businesses have so-far been fined under the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (Plastic Packaging Materials Prohibition) Order, 2018, while 30 other businesses and individuals will face the courts in the coming weeks. Vaz also informed that warning notices were issued to the non-compliant persons and companies before enforcement action was taken.

“Let me reiterate, the Government will be taking strong enforcement action against those persons and companies that do not comply with the ban.  The Jamaica Customs Agency has also held firm at the ports of entry confiscating banned items, preventing them from entering the trade,” Vaz stated. He said an even smoother transition is expected in phase two of the ban which restricts the manufacturing, distribution and use of expanded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) products in the food and beverage industry.