No exemptions as plastic bag ban takes effect

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plastic-bags.jpgThe Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), is expressing concern about the Government's decision not to allow exemptions to the ban on certain plastics, which comes into effect on Tuesday

The ban means that importation, manufacture, distribution and use of single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and imported styrofoam products will no longer be allowed

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, is reported as saying that the government will compensate business operators instead of granting an exemption to allow them to use up their existing stock.

However, the government says compensation will only be allowed to business operators who have not completed stocks purchased before announcement of the ban in September.

Programme Director at the JET Tamoy Singh-Clarke says she understands the rationale for the decision not to allow exemptions.

However, she says there are some instances in which an exemption may be necessary.

Some Municipal Corporations are working on a plan to distribute thousands of reuseable bags in the markets.

Government Senator Matthew Samuda told the Gleaner that 30,000 environmentally friendly bags are to be distributed in the coming days by mayors.

This is part of the government's efforts to equip Jamaicans with alternatives to plastic bags.