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  • Jamaica is one of over 60 nations around the world launching an anti-pollution movement from the macro-level.

    Jamaica is one of over 60 nations around the world launching an anti-pollution movement from the macro-level. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 December 2018

The state is considering implementing fines of up to J$1 million (US$7,794) for violating the plastics ban.

Jamaican authorities are searching for strategies to fortify the nation’s ban on single-use plastics which will take effect January 1, 2019, Ministry of Economic Growth said Monday.

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“Too often [in several instances] we are using archaic outdated legislation and laws that are totally inadequate in terms of the consequences through fines and imprisonment, and whatever else,” said Minister Daryl Vaz during the launching of the subnational Integrated Water, Land and Ecosystems (IWEco) project.

The state is considering implementing fines of J$50,000 (US$389) to J$1 million (US$7,794) for violating the plastics ban which will include shopping bags, styrofoam, drinking straws, and utensils.

“We are looking at that… [and] I can assure the public that there will be teeth [in the law],” Vaz said.

In September, the minister said retailers would be welcome to apply for exemptions with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). These will be announced by January of 2021 and weighed on a case-by-case- basis.

"Consumers are being encouraged to use reusable carrier bags, particularly by local enterprises," Vaz said.

Jamaica is one of over 60 nations around the world launching an anti-pollution movement from the macro-level, a United Nations report announced earlier this year.

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