Entornointeligente.com / KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment & Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr, is reminding Jamaicans that the third phase of the ban on single use plastics begins tomorrow, January 1, 2021. The two previous phases of the ban were implemented on January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020.
According to the ministry, in this final phase, the ban applies to:
· single use plastic bags of size 24 ” by 24″ (610mm x 610mm) and thickness of 2.5 Mils (0.06mm) and
· drinking straws made wholly, or in part of polyethylene or polypropylene, manufactured for single use and attached to, or forming part of, the packaging of drink boxes or drink pouches.
The ministry reminded stakeholders that a six months transition period is now in force, during which it is expected that:
· The private sector will deplete/replace all affected products currently circulated in the trade and
· Ensure that their production processes are retrofitted to facilitate compliance with the provisions of the ban and
· The public sector will increase its public education and awareness raising activities.
In a statement today Charles said the ministry “welcomes feedback by way of suggestions and recommendations at any time, as the ministry continues to implement strategies to protect the Jamaican environment in which we live, work, do business and raise families and to mitigate the ravages of climate change.”
Charles also reaffirmed the Government’s support, for the export sector, through the granting of special exemptions for the import of non-compliant product which will be processed by Jamaican entities and reexported to customers outside of Jamaica.
The sector is again reminded of the special conditions applicable to this concession, which are:
· The exemption does not undermine the principles of the law but advances our mutual objectives
· Participating entities have robust internal controls that will ensure no leakage of the product in question (ie – plastic drinking straws) into the local market.
· The relevant regulatory authorities can, and must, effectively monitor the process to ensure compliance with the ministerial orders which have been promulgated.
The ministry also noted that the environmental strategy of the ban on single use plastics is supported by the introduction of the Deposit Refund Scheme for plastic bottles.
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