Ministry to allow temporary manufacture of plastic bags
Local plastic bag manufacturers have been granted permission to produce petroleum-based plastic bags for a limited period.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, said this decision was made following concerns about the unavailability of biodegradable resin used in the manufacture of local biodegradable bags.
However, manufacturers must first apply for permission from the ministry before producing the bags, according to a press release on May 6.
To date, three plastic bag manufacturers have applied for, and were granted permission to manufacture petroleum-based bags, for a three-month period.
“The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy will continue to monitor the situation and will update the public as necessary,” Humphrey said, while stressing that the importation of the bags was not included in the exemption.
Humphrey said Government remained committed to the protection of the marine resources and a strong, sustainable future, through the use of biodegradable alternatives.
The minister explained that existing world conditions had placed a “tremendous burden” on the production and supply chain of biodegradable products.
While exemptions are being made for manufacturing petroleum-based plastic bags for a limited time, Humphrey said all other petroleum-based single-use plastics remain banned.
That ban took effect on April 1, 2020. (BGIS)