Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, on Mondayy, announced that the Department of the Environment (DoE) is working on a proposal consisting of measures, which include a ban on the use of single-use plastics in Guyana.
This type of plastic is made of low-density polyethylene, which does not break easily and is, therefore, not easily recycled and does not disintegrate. The proposal document will be engaging the attention of Cabinet soon. Speaking at an event at the Baridi Benab at State House to mark Earth Day, which was observed on Monday, the Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to protecting the environment and preserving Guyana’s ecosystems.
The theme for this year’s Earth Day observances is ‘End Plastic Pollution’ and Minister Harmon said that “We have to change our consumption and waste disposal patterns to combat this all pervasive presence of plastic waste in our environment. Very soon, we will have taken to Cabinet, a memorandum, which is being prepared by the Department of Environment… about measures to ban [single-use] plastics in Guyana… We are going to try to put in place the policies and arrangements,” he said.
The Minister of State said that Earth Day presents the perfect opportunity for citizens of Guyana and wider world, to not only take stock of their individual and collective responsibilities to the environment, but also to demonstrate a greater commitment and resolve to keep the safeguard the planet so that it is not rendered uninhabitable for future generations. “In January 2017, the Administration tabled and passed in the National Assembly, an amendment to the Customs Act, which stipulates that importers of plastic containers must pay an environmental levy to the Guyana Revenue Authority. This levy was not primarily a revenue collection initiative, but a measure to encourage recycling of plastic and to reduce its use,” the Minister explained.