Operators of small cookshops and restaurants are disappointed that they have been excluded from consultations on the upcoming ban on plastic bags, styrofoam and plastic drinking straws and are calling for inclusion in the process as they will be significantly affected.
The Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ), which represents some of the business operators, has said it is in support of the ban, however, a clearer understanding of the process is urgently needed.
"If you have a greater buy in, the greater your chance of succeeding because all well-thinking Jamaicans should agree with them and support them in this move, but there must be a better consultative process," asserted SBAJ President Hugh Johnson.
Mr. Johnson said from his discussions with cookshop and restaurant operators, he gathers they are mainly concerned about the increased cost of operations the ban will cause, as well as what alternative will be given to the use of scandal bags for the disposal of garbage.
Mr. Johnson added that there is a bigger national crisis which the government has to deal with urgently.
He noted that if solid waste management is not a priority, paper based products - which are being touted as the replacement to plastics and styrofoam - will begin to clog drains.
He called for the government to provide education and better management to prevent this from becoming a problem, while it ensures support and enforcement of the plastics and styrofoam ban.