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The Plastic Phase Out Countdown Begins #535401
03/16/19 05:59 AM
03/16/19 05:59 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 61,729
oregon, spr
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Last week we told you about the Draft Environmental Protection Regulation. Well today, the Department of the Environment heard comments and answered questions from the main stakeholders who will be affected by the phase out action plan. The consultation was held at the Radisson this morning and we dropped by to find out more about the regulation and what it means for manufacturers and consumers.

Maxine Monsanto - Environmental Officer, Environmental Law and Policy Unit
"Today is a national consultation with stakeholder on the draft Environmental Protection Pollution from plastics regulation 2019. The objective today is honestly a two-way flow consultation. We have presented a summary of the draft legislation and we are obtaining feedback from the directly affected stakeholders basically importers, manufacturers, distributors some of the end users to get an idea of how we can strengthen and improve the draft legislation."

Courtney Weatherburne
"How has the discussions been going so far? What are some of the main points you guys are covering?"

Maxine Monsanto
"Well we basically gave a summary of the legislation which has 5 parts, we announced what are the proposed dates for the phase out are, that is in part 5, in miscellaneous and it starts on the 1st of May if the legislation is enacted by the 22nd and now we are in the question and answer phase and lot of the questions so far are pertaining to the time frames of the permits."

Courtney Weatherburne
"I think many people are wondering how will this phase out happen or how will it work in terms of on the ground, people or consumers going to the stores and even manufacturers and retailers, how will it work on the ground?"

Maxine Monsanto
"What is proposed in the legislation is a timed phase out, the cutoff date for importation, stop date proposed in this draft is 1st of May, stop date for manufacturing locally is 1st of August, stop date for sale, meaning that you can no longer sell the product in country is 1st of November and the start date for possession saying that at that point we make it a criminal for you to have it for commercial purposes is 1st of December. So the general idea is that it is supposed to slowly stop the product from entering the country, then stop it from being produced in country so you use what is currently available, we are not encouraging you to stock pile because if the proposal if enacted  there won't be an extension, there is just going to be following those dates and after the 1st of December, the product should no longer be available for commercial use in country so on the ground, you as a law abiding citizen should hopefully not buy the product, use the product, sell the product and it should not be available on the shelves."

The regulation outlines a number of different offenses and their fines as it relates to sale and use of these plastics. For instance, if you are found with 5 styrofoam plates, it will be considered commercial use and it carries a fine and of course, there is the standard option of imprisonment if you do no meet the fine. The fines range from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the offense. So as we have been reporting it is a serious transition and everyone is urged to read the draft regulation on the DOE website to be informed of all these penalties. We will keep following this phase out process. 

Channel 7


Re: The Plastic Phase Out Countdown Begins [Re: Marty] #535408
03/16/19 08:11 AM
03/16/19 08:11 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,405
San Pedro, Belize
Judyann H. Offline
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Judyann H.  Offline
We have been using bio-degradable containers and re-use containers for many years..... Too bad they would have to create a law with a 5k-20k fines/imprisonment for having 5-styrofoam containers.... This might be a very challenging Phase-Out Program. Particularly if they have to hand out these fines to the street vendors and small local delis.... In the meantime let us all do our part.


My friends call me Judyann

www.blackorchidrestaurant.com
Re: The Plastic Phase Out Countdown Begins [Re: Marty] #535476
03/21/19 05:51 AM
03/21/19 05:51 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 61,729
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

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Marty  Online Happy OP

The Public Education For Plastics

Today, the public education campaign to ban plastics was launched.  Now, with about a month to go before the legislation is introduced, you might say it's a little late.

But, better late than never,  and the Department Of Environment's CEO explained how the plastics task force came up with a Plastic Free Belize campaign:

Percival Cho - CEO Ministry of Environment
"The plastic task force that was set up last year by cabinet thought it necessary to embark on a public educational campaign for the country. To do that, we decided to set up a subgroup, a subcommittee of the task force, involving NGOs, civil society groups and others, to work towards developing a common message and to agree that all organizations who want to say something about the phase-out to be able to say it using one voice, one message. The message is clear, we need to phase-out and rid ourselves of certain plastic products. That is at the basic element of the message, that is what is there, and to start to instil in the public the need to maybe look at how we attach ourselves to these things and how potentially we cannot use them and reduce our dependency on these items. We do have a few timelines built into the execution of the legislation which has to do with, first of all, a ban on the importation. So, we are no longer going to import these particular products in order to protect the environment; and there is a specific date on that. Followed by a phase-out of the local production, which is a bit later on. We do produce some of these items locally. And then, of course, possession or use of it, a little bit later on will, of course, be completely phase-out."

Reporter
"The biodegradable importers right now, what they are saying is that when you look at the  cost of biodegradables compared to the plastics and Styrofoam, it is way more expensive. When they are bringing it into the country, they are even paying more duties than the persons who are bringing in these products. Is there anything that the legislation looks at in terms of an incentive for these importers of these biodegradables?"

Percival Cho
"We have cleared up that issue some time ago. We had a discussion with Customs and Ministry of Finance on it. Looking at the legislation, and there is a web of it in relation to importation of these things, there is the conclusion that we came to that both biodegradable and Styrofoam and plastics are zero-rated. And, obviously there is some confusion at the point of importation."

Reporter
"So, zero-rated, what those that mean for importers of biodegradables?"

Percival Cho
"As far as we know, the biodegradables, they fall under the category of plastics and that category is already zero-rated."

Reporter
"So, they pay the same duties essentially you are saying?"

Percival Cho
"They should be but what we have heard- and I think you've heard the same- is that some of them are, at the point of importation, probably are not classifying these products in the right category to take advantage of those incentives." 

Again, the ban does not include all plastics; it only covers clamshells, plates, cups, forks spoons, plastic bags for which there are alternatives. The specific date for the ban to go into effect has not been finalized.

Channel 7


Re: The Plastic Phase Out Countdown Begins [Re: Marty] #535492
03/22/19 05:19 AM
03/22/19 05:19 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 61,729
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

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Marty  Online Happy OP

Will There Be Help for Plastics and Styrofoam Businesses to Transition to Biodegradables?

And so the phase out is a staggered process that starts with the importation followed by local production. The ban will affect the bottom line and even see many importers and local producers of plastics and Styrofoam close down that part of their business. And so while it is a win for the environment – jobs may be at risk and the economic contributions of these businesses will stop. C.E.O. Cho says that his Ministry is engaging other partners to see what kind of support can be offered to businesses that want to transition to biodegradables.

Dr. Percival Cho, C.E.O., Ministry of Environment

“These companies are very much willing and a part of the endeavour. So we have engaged them in open discussion, frank discussion about their conditions and restrictions and some of their concerns. Through BELTTRAIDE and Ministry of Investment, we have been working on developing certain recommendations that can be passed up to the policy makers, decision makers regarding what incentive package we can offer, we can provide, what encourage in terms of business incentives can be provided to local companies to transition over in to making more biodegradable products. Secondly, in terms of the targeted products that we are phasing out, remember there are a few items Styrofoam clamshells, plastic cups, plates etc. But there will still be need for packaging Styrofoam material to put on the chicken meat, other meats, egg trays etc. So there will still be some productions of it but not the items that were listed to be phased out.”

D.O.E. says Fines and Fees in Proposed Plastic Ban Legislation will be Reviewed

As you may know by now, the Department of Environment is pushing full steam ahead to phase out single use plastics and Styrofoam in Belize by December of this year. The phase out begins when the draft legislation is passed next month. Last week the D.O.E. met with importers, producers and others in the business to review the draft legislation for feedback and consideration for the final document.  C.E.O. Percival Cho of the Ministry of Environment says that the fees and fines proposed in the legislation are open to adjustments when the document is reviewed. Here’s how he explains it.

Dr. Percival Cho, C.E.O., Ministry of Environment

“We certainly recognize the passing on of some of these fees unto the price of the product themselves. So we have figured two ways how to handle some of the concerns coming on. One, I need to make the point that the fee proposed in the legislation is only a proposed fee. It was opened for commenting and we received some good comments on basically what people are willing to pay in terms of the permit fees. So we are prepared to adjust those. On Monday we will have the final sit down to look at the comments received and chart out any amendments, adjustments needed to the draft regulations and fees are in there. In terms of the fines, in any regulation written under the EPA have to be bound by those limits set in those EPA, Environmental Protection Act. So the fines are carried forward from the EPA.”

Channel 5




Re: The Plastic Phase Out Countdown Begins [Re: Marty] #535851
04/12/19 05:54 AM
04/12/19 05:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 61,729
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

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Marty  Online Happy OP

DOE Choose to Refuse Plastic Video

The Department of the Environment has a short video out about refusing single use plastic bags. Definitely worth a watch. Nicely done, DoE. Single use plastics are on their way out.



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