Govt collected over 3,000 cases of plastic items since ban took effect in July

Environment Minister Romauld Ferreira said yesterday that more than 3,000 cases of plastic items were collected by the Department of Environmental Health (DEHS) following the full implementation of the single use plastic ban on July 1.

“DEHS staff also monitored the receipt of banned plastics at the waste disposal facility,” Ferreira said during a Ministry of Environment and Housing press conference. 

“Three thousand one hundred and one cases of banned plastic products were received at the hazardous waste facility for storage prior to destruction or export.”

Senior Environmental Officer with the Ministry of the Environment and Housing Dr. Rhianna Neely-Murphy said the items were collected in July.

“We’re working with a company — outside of the country — to have them up upcycled,” she said.

“So, those items will be transformed into things like outdoor furniture, etc. for uses in other ways other than their single use.” 

Ferreira told reporters that environmental officers have taken to the streets to inspect for breaches of the ban.

“During the first weeks of July, the unit increased its presence across all media outlets again, reminding all Bahamians of the pending deadline to remain in compliance with the new law,” he said.

A partial plan was implemented on January 1, 2020.

It required that businesses charge between $0.25 and a dollar for plastic bags.

It also made it illegal to release balloons into the sky.

“…When you release a balloon into the atmosphere, it does not go to heaven,” Ferreira said yesterday.

“It lands in the ocean.”

Single use plastic bags, plastic utensils, plastic straws and styrofoam cups and containers are currently banned in The Bahamas.  

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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