According to the Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr, the Government is exploring measures that can be incorporated in the management of polyethene and polypropylene containers that have replaced the expanded polystyrene foam containers on the domestic market.
“We acknowledge that this is an issue of concern. Several options are being explored, including the establishment of a national recycling programme, which would include these products; the provision of incentives to the private sector to make environmentally friendly alternatives more attractive; and the expansion of the existing ban to cover these products,”
Mr Charles shared.
On January 1, 2020, the Government imposed a ban on the local manufacture, distribution and use of expanded polystyrene foam products used in the food and beverage industry.
Meanwhile, Minister Charles said another tool to regulate single-use plastics is the institution of a Deposit Refund Scheme.
“The Government recognises that the issue with plastics and microplastics in the country will not be fully addressed with the implementation of the current ban on single-use plastics,”
he stated, noting that the majority of the plastic waste generated in Jamaica is from plastic bottles, specifically PET bottles.
“As had been previously announced, the Government has charged the private sector-led Recycling Partners of Jamaica Limited (RPJL) with the implementation of the Deposit Refund Scheme (DRS) on plastic bottles. We are also encouraging other private-sector partners to get involved,”
the Minister added.
Charles said the DRS will allow for the application of a deposit on plastic bottles placed on the market and a cash rebate to the consumer on the return of these bottles to designated redemption centres islandwide.