Disruptions in the global logistics supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have made it difficult for some local manufacturers to comply with the final phase of the plastic ban, which came into effect on January 1.
Recognizing the challenges in compliance, Environment Minister Pearnel Charles Jr speaking in parliament on Tuesday (June 29) announced that the government would be extending the transition period by three months, allowing manufacturers more time to make the necessary changes.
“While some private sector stakeholders have been able to meet the necessary transitions, others have experienced challenges accessing a consistent supply of the alternatives; primarily due to the disruptions in the global logistics supply chain as a result of the ongoing pandemic,” Charles said.
“In discussions with partners in the private sector, and further to the government’s own assessment of the local market, it was deemed prudent to defer regulatory action with respect to the measures related to the straws in question for a minimum of three months to allow for the market to regularise, “added Charles .
Charles also used the occasion to commend private sector entities, many of whom he said had transition away from plastics toward 100% environmentally friendly packaging
Phase three of the government’s ban focuses on single use plastic straws that form part of the packaging and single use plastic bags that are 24 inches by 24 inches in size.