Styrofoam ban from January 1
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The government Sunday announced a ban on Styrofoam from the start of next year. The Ministry of the Presidency said the ban is part of efforts to support and promote a green economy and environment, which has been a mantra for the Government since their assumption to office.
The ban, the Ministry said, will be enforced through a collaborative effort between the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Ministries of Business, Legal Affairs, and Finance, through the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
It was revealed that a series of measures to address waste management and to promote the utilization of biodegradable materials is in its implementation stages, being spearheaded by the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment.
Granted by Cabinet, was the approval for the immediate development of a legal framework to implement the ban on the importation and use of Styrofoam products as well as a public awareness programme to educate the public on the consequences of its usage and the benefits of the alternatives.
This decision by the Executive arm, came as a result of a series of consultations, which were held previously with industry operators, importers and other key stakeholders. But not limited to these consultations, more consultative sessions are expected to be held to the end of the year.
The objective of this this initiative, the Ministry noted, is to achieve a “significant reduction” in the effects of polystyrene foam products on solid waste management in Guyana and its negative impact on the environment, while leading to the further development of new enterprises in the alternatives sector.
It was highlighted too, that in Guyana, that the waste stream comprises about 2-5 per cent Styrofoam products, with these being popularly used in the food service industry.
As a result, the improper disposal of the single use item has been, and remains a threat to human health and the wider environment, incurring clean up and disposal costs amounting to millions of dollars, a cost borne by the tax paying public.

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