KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – The Jamaica government says it will be taking steps during this financial year to widen its ban on single-use plastic as it seeks to further protect the country’s natural environment from degradation and destruction.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Matthew Samuda, told the 10th regional session of the Youth Environment Advocacy Programme (YEAP) on ‘Marine Pollution: The Role of Plastics” that microbeads and plastic lunch boxes will be targeted under impending changes to the ban on single-use plastic.
“The principal intent of the ban is to prevent non-recyclable, non-biodegradable carcinogenic waste from entering our garbage,” Samuda said in the address read out by the Ministry’s Chief Technical Director, Gillian Guthrie.
He said the government would start in the new financial year to look at microbeads, which are microplastics in personal-care products, and different types of plastic lunch boxes.
The government has already banned the importation, manufacture, and distribution of single-use plastic bags, straws, and polystyrene, which took effect on January 1, 2019, a move Samuda said has been bearing fruit.
He also noted that the authorities would seek to engage with the population “on this important national issue” as the push encourages more Jamaicans to abide by environmental preservation and protection principles.
Since the establishment of YEAP, an estimated 1,400 students across the island have been sensitized about the importance of a healthy environment to the country’s sustainable development.