Government Looking to Strengthen Law Applicable to Breaches of Single-Use Plastics Ban

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Jamaica News: Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon Daryl Vaz, says the Government is looking to strengthen aspects of the law applicable where breaches of the ban on single-use plastics, which takes effect on January, 1, 2019, may be committed.

While noting fines ranging between $50,000 to over $1 million for breaches of stipulations under the Natural Resources Conservation Authority and Trade Acts, Mr. Vaz contended that, “too often [in several instances] we are using archaic outdated legislation and laws that are totally inadequate in terms of the consequences through fines and imprisonment, and whatever else”.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]”,” the Minister added.

He was speaking at the recent 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.

Come 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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