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Apr 22, 2020

April 15th Plastic Importation Stopped!

On April fifteenth, the importation of single-use plastics and styrofoam into Belize stopped and in three months time, local manufacturers will also stop production of these items as the country moves forward to completely phase out plastics. In January, we reported on the Environmental Protection Regulations 2020, which was signed into law to reduce plastic and styrofoam pollution. That piece of legislation prohibits the importation, manufacture, sale and possession of a list of single-use plastic and styrofoam items. C.E.O. Doctor Percival Cho of the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Environment and Sustainable Development gave us an update on the phase out process.

 

Dr. Percival Cho, C.E.O., Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Environment & Sustainable Development

“The DOE were on schedule to begin the process of monitoring the importation from January up to April fifteenth when importation became unlawful. So, as of April fifteenth no more permits were being issued for the importation of the prohibited items. Those are plastic plates, spoons, knives, forks, bags, as well as styrofoam plates and other utensils – and so those can no longer be imported as of April fifteenth according to the law. The next step would be the prohibition on manufacturing of these products because there are some local manufacturers and that will be take place on July. So, local manufacturing will cease by July fifteenth and three months later local sale will also be prohibited so the stores will be unable to sell any of the products after that. Three months after that then possession becomes illegal of these items. So, that leads us into the one year phase out period, so up until March the follow year 2021.”


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