Jamaica News: The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) will be making more than 2,000 reusable shopping bags available to the public in support of the Government’s ban on single-use plastics.
The Institute’s Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, symbolically handed over the first 500 bags to Government Senator, Matthew Samuda during a ceremony at the PIOJ’s Oxford Road offices in St. Andrew on Monday (March 4).
Senator Samuda had moved a private member’s motion in the Senate proposing a ban on the use of Styrofoam containers and plastic bags locally. This played a role in the Government’s eventual ban on single-use plastics, which took effect on January 1 this year.
Dr. Henry said the gesture was facilitated through the PIOJ’s Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat under its corporate social responsibility campaign dubbed ‘Beating Plastic Pollution’.
He noted that since June 2018, the Secretariat has produced and distributed more than 1,000 reusable shopping bags under the campaign. This is in addition to over 1,000 reusable drinking bottles and aluminium bottles, to aid in the transition from disposable to reusable items.
Dr. Henry said that the campaign has also sought to enhance public knowledge of environmental stewardship at most of the conferences and expositions that the PIOJ participated in during the latter part of last year.
He said the entity is “heartened and delighted” to see the number of shops, supermarkets and other establishments adhering to the single-use plastic ban.
“It is clear that the wave of green consumerism is here to stay and our industries must innovate to meet this growing demand,” he said.
“As a country, we encourage all to embrace these new changes and see them as win-win opportunities towards advancing our common vision of making Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business,” he added.
In the meantime, Senator Samuda welcomed the donation of reusable items, which, he said, will go towards efforts to raise awareness and ease plastic pollution.
“This is a critical part of the public education effort… . This is another step in the right direction. It will certainly help all the teams that go out into the field as they interact with persons to be able to physically leave them with something (tangible). It’s a great reminder to persons… to stop using plastic bags,” he added.
During the ceremony, reusable bags and bottles were also presented to the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) for distribution, as part of the overall countrywide education campaign that the agency is undertaking in the areas of environmental stewardship and sustainable consumption.
Source: JIS News