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Jan 29, 2020

D.O.E. and Bureau of Standards Take on Biodegradability

The Department of the Environment, in partnership with the Belize Bureau of Standards, is hosting a seminar to establish a collective benchmark for use of the term biodegradable in respect of local standards.  This morning, dozens of participants from the private sector attended the second day of the workshop to learn more about the various levels of biodegradability.  Chief Executive Officer, Doctor Percival Cho, explains what biodegradable means, as well as the differences in terminology.


Percival Cho

Dr. Percival Cho, C.E.O., Ministry of Environment

“It is a multiple day workshop, so yesterday was for government regulators, customs, environment, Bureau of Standards, trade, etc. to discuss the terminology around biodegradable standards.  What it means in order to get that information that they need to domestically and nationally prepare our own standards.  So today is the same, it’s a repeat but it’s for the private sector.  So we have various companies listed here, including manufacturers of biodegradable products, including importers and including prospective companies who are interested in getting into the business.  The discussion, as you noted from the presentation has to do with, again, understanding the terminology, what do we mean by biodegradable?  There are different levels and there are different types and so that is going to be explained, questions taken for everybody to walk away with a clear understanding of what standards we are going to develop and for what purposes.”



“Now will these standards, while they are only being explained here today, be placed into some kind of legislation as backup?”


Dr. Percival Cho

“Yes.  As you know, the legislation was passed a few weeks ago.  What that currently says in terms of what it means to be biodegradable is that the definition, notwithstanding at the moment because we are developing yet, we are going to put in place and interim definition which is that fifty percent of the material that is used to make these products have to be from a plant-based source, so fifty percent bio-based.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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