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Jul 6, 2017

Business Development Focus at Senate

Mark Lizarraga

The Senate met in its final session before summer break in Belmopan. On the agenda were ratifications of several treaties and review and passage of bills from the House of Representatives. Several of the bills, including amendments to the Customs and Excise Duties Act, General Sales Tax Act and Building Act were the suggestion of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Senator for the Business Community Mark Lizarraga made note of that contribution while N.G.O. Senator Osmany Salas proposed further change in the area of biodegradable packaging.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community

“This Bill is designed and our lobby was designed to help us to lower the cost in the productive sector, that many of us rely on for packaging materials and packaging equipment, and thus we understand that this is but the first part of a series of moves to help alleviate the costs in the productive sector. And overall we believe, Mr. President, is a [step] in the right direction and again, we thank and congratulate the Government on this move, and look forward as well, Mr. President, to the implementation of the second exercise that will only add more to making Belizeans products produced and packaged more competitive and better presented, giving our consumer more choice and hopefully, certainly, some reduced cost.”

 

Osmany Salas

Osmany Salas, Senator, Non-Governmental Organizations

“I would want to see the day when in Belize we ban the use of Styrofoam; we ban the use of single-use non-biodegradable plastics. I know it’s a process; I know it will take a while. But I refer you to the First Schedule, the heading thirty-nine-twenty-three-ninety-ninety, under this where Styrofoam comes. We are doing away with the import duty; and we understand where that is coming from. But I would like to see the day where we accord the same treatment to non-biodegradable packaging materials, in particular, the articles for the conveyance of food items, beverages, utensils, made of starch-based bio-plastic and bio-based solids; thirty-nine-twenty-three and there is a heading thirty-nine-twenty-three-zero-zero, that speaks to biodegradable disposables, including plates, cups, the ubiquitous clam shells for take-out food items; burger trays, shopping bags, etcetera. Under heading forty-eight-nineteen-thirty, articles for packaging made from starch-based, bio-based solids; forty-eight-nineteen-thirty, shopping t-shirt bags of several sizes; heading sixty-three-oh-five, biodegradable garbage bags, and sixty-three-oh-five-zero-zero, biodegradable compostable garbage bags. So I am pleased to hear my colleague speak to the next steps, and I think it is important for us to do that, because that will be indicating that we are already on the way to eventually doing away with Styrofoam, much like our sister nation Guyana has done.”

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