Gov't expected alternatives to plastic, styrofoam to already be in circulation

Peter Knight
Peter Knight, head of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), has admitted that the Government was of the view that following its announcement of the ban on certain plastics and the importation of styrofoam in September, the market would have responded by bringing in sufficient alternatives.
Mr. Knight was responding to the criticism from interests groups and members of the public about the lack of replacement products.
He said the problem is being addressed.
Addressing Thursday's meeting of the St. James Municipal Corporation, Mr. Knight said he was also disappointed that some companies still imported the banned items after the announcement.
He reiterated that these items should not be in circulation. 
"Manufacturers, importers and distributors are to embargo all supplies that they have in stock...and the government has said that we will determine a compensation mechanism. Those products that were in the retail trade...we have said, we will allow those to be depleted, and the thought is that those bags should be depleted by the end of this month," he outlined. 
The NEPA head said Jamaica Customs has already adjusted its codes as well as its ASYCUDA software to ensure that the banned items do not continue to enter the country. 

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