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JAMAICA | 'Scandal bags' soon to be banned by government

KINGSTON, Jamaica May 18 - If Daryl Vaz, the Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation has his way, persons going the the supermarket or the produce market will have to take their own multiple use containers to transport their groceries.
This is because the use of 'scandal bags' otherwise referred to as single-use plastic bags will soon be banned from being used for packing groceries and other goods at shops and supermarkets in an effort to control the proliferation of plastic refuse in the environment.

Speaking in the sectoral debate in the House of  Representatives on last Tuesday, Portfolio minister Daryl Vaz said the Government would in a matter of months, be prohibiting single-use plastic bags in the retail trade.

This means Jamaicans will need to use reusable bags when they go to the supermarket or wholesale.  
plastic garbage460Mr. Vaz said the action on so-called 'scandal bags' will be coming soon. In his speech sent to the media, he noted that these single-use plastic bags are not recyclable and have no value beyond their use.
But he said they result in a cost to the broader society each time they are used. 
He said specific regulations will be put in place for garbage bags which will include sizes which will be allowed and the mandatory use of the enzymes which make plastics degradable.
Last year, Government Senator Matthew Samuda piloted a resolution in the Upper House calling for a ban on plastic bags.

In response to the announcement, the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) told Radio Jamaica  that the plastic bag ban was long overdue.

"There's really no denying that Jamaica has a plastic problem; we've really reached national crisis (stage), so we're really glad  that this action is being taken; it's very long overdue", Susan Stanley, CEO of JET, said.

She added however that it was important to get details concerning the proposed ban, including the timetable for implementation, whether there will be a grace period, and whether this will be a comprehensive ban or one with exceptions for certain sizes.

Only recently, the city of Brisbane, Australia announced a ban on plastic straws, helium balloons and single-use bottles and bags.

Brisbane's council, one of Australia’s largest, will ban the plastic paraphernalia from all of its operations and events.

Vendors at council-run events will not be allowed to supply the items, however, patrons can still bring their own.

Last month, British Prime Minister Theresa May laid out plans to ban single-use plastics, including straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds, to stop pollution.

According to National Geographic in their June edition extolling evils plactics, they said "earth’s plastic problem has become so bad, scientists recently found a plastic bag in the Mariana Trench — the deepest point in the ocean, sitting nearly 11 kilometres below the surface.

One million plastic bottles are bought every minute around the globe and most of them end up in landfill where they take a significant time to break down, or in the ocean where they kill marine life.

If it’s not bottles, it’s plastics bags and other plastic-based packaging that can find its way into our waterways and harm wildlife.

Some experts have warned that the plastic crisis is as bad as climate change.

Last modified onSaturday, 19 May 2018 18:21
  • Countries: Jamaica

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