Single-use plastic bags to be banned 'soon.'

Jamaicans will soon be banned from packing groceries and other goods in single-use plastic bags.
Speaking in the sectoral debate in the House of  Representatives on Tuesday, Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz said the Government will 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.  
Mr. 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 RJR News 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.



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