THE year 2021 has been designated for the systematic ban on single-use plastics. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the support from the Department of Environment, Ministry of the Presidency has taken the responsibility to take the necessary measures to manage, conserve, protect and improve the environment in preventing and controlling pollution; assessing the impact of economic development on the environment; and ensuring the sustainable use of Guyana’s natural resources.
The EPA has engaged some critical stakeholders on the single-use plastic ban, these included: The Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA); executive members of Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA); representatives from the tourism sector – hotels, resorts, restaurant and bars; members of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce (GCC); as well as Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Bureau.
Before the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the EPA has conducted a series of consultations with several business stakeholders including supermarkets and importers of single-use plastic, as well as residents of Lethem and Mabaruma. However, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the agency has transitioned towards hosting its public virtual consultations since April 2020. The virtual consultations are aimed to educate the public on the impending ban on single-use plastics the ban, discuss the potential impacts the ban may have on different sectors, along with opportunities for businesses to make recommendations to remedy any possible social and economic gaps which may arise as a result of the ban. Some major concerns the agency received thus far were centred around the availability of alternatives for the proposed items to be banned, increased education and awareness campaigns targeting the business community and fiscal incentives to support the local development of alternatives. The agency is making every effort to meet with as many stakeholders as possible, including members of the public and importers/manufacturers of single-use plastic and alternatives.
The agency has launched a public survey on the proposed ban on single-use plastic via its Facebook page and encourages the general public to participate and follow us on social media for more updates. Your feedback is important to us; you can send your questions and comments to email@example.com.
Let us not wait for 2021, let us make the switch today for a cleaner and greater Guyana. Rethink your choices! Choose reusable items today!
You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O Communications Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.