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Don’T Let Go: Plastics Ban To Include $2,000 Balloons Fine

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

THE upcoming ban on single-use plastics will also outlaw the release of balloons, according to draft legislation that details fines up to $3,000.

The plastic ban legislation outlines up to six months imprisonment for people who assault, resist, impede, or make false statements to an inspection officer. However, businesses will be able to possess and sell prohibited plastics to customers up to June 30, 2020 for a fee. 

If convicted under the proposed legislation, a first time offender faces a fine not exceeding $2,000, and in the case of a continuing offence, $500 for each day the offence continues. A second or subsequent offence will be met with a fine not exceeding $3,000, and further fine of $700 for each day it continues. 

If passed, the Environmental Protection (Control of Plastic Pollution) Bill, 2019 will prohibit single-use plastic foodware and non-biodegradable, oxo-biodegradable and biodegradable single-use plastic bags; prohibit the release of balloons; and regulate the use of compostable single-use plastic bags.

Single-use plastic foodware outlined in the bill include: Styrofoam cups, plates and other similar Styrofoam foodware used to contain food; plastic knives, forks, spoons and straws.

Businesses will be allowed to sell compostable single-use plastic bags for 25 cents to $1, excluding VAT.

Business will not be able to sell these bags to customers at the point of sale, and if they do, the sale of the bag must be separately stated on the receipt and identified as a “checkout bag fee”.

Business will be allowed to keep the fees collected for the sale of these bags; however, a record must be kept of the number of bags supplied during the reporting year, along with the gross and net proceeds of the sale.

Failure to keep a record is an offence with a fine up to $2,000, and failure to supply a copy of the record to the ministry carries a fine up to $1,000.

Compostable single-use plastic bags will be exempt from the ban along with a number of others based on their intended use like party bags, dry cleaning, food and hardware storage, newspaper deliveries and trash.

“A bag intended to be used solely to contain wholly or partly unwrapped food for human consumption, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, ground coffee, grains, or candies; a bag intended to be used solely to contain uncooked fish or fish products, meat or meat products, or poultry or poultry products; a bag intended to be used solely to contain wholly or partly unwrapped loose seeds, bulbs, corns, rhizomes, flowers, or goods contaminated by soil; a bag used for pharmaceutical dispensing or any other medical use,” the bill notes. 

The exempt list continues: “A bag intended to be used solely to contain live aquatic creatures in water; a bag intended to be used solely for the transport or storage of agricultural products; a bag with a thickness of at least 3 mils thick that is intended to be used solely to package hardware items; a bag that is an integral part of the packaging in which a good is sealed prior to its delivery to a point of sale; and a bag intended to be used solely to contain ice for retail.”

The law will not apply to plastic manufactured locally for export.

Draft bills for the Ministry of Environment Bill 2019 and the Environmental Planning and Protection Bill 2019 were also released for public consultation. 

The MOE Bill seeks to establish the Ministry of the Environment to oversee the integrity of the environment and to establish the Environmental Administration Fund and the Environmental Trust Fund.

The planning bill seeks to establish the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection, to provide for the prevention or control of pollution, the regulation of activities, and the administration, conservation and sustainable use of the environment.

It provides for the establishment of an integrated environmental management system, providing a legal framework for the protection, enhancement and conservation of the environment, and for the sustainable management, use, development and enjoyment of the environment.

Comments

Chucky 1 month ago

Wow. Oh the stupidity. Clearly this fraudulent legislation is designed to ensure no loss of corporate profits.

By sheer volume/ mass, these items being considered for bans, are a minuscule part of the problem.

What a dog and pony show! What about plastic food containers, pop and juice bottles, oil bottles, shampoo bottles , soaps lotions , etc. We can go on forever about the real single use plastic problem. How about 5 gallon pales.

If there is any real genuine environmental problems or concerns in the world; we could not possibly know it based on the actions of any government.
There is not one government in this world taking any kind of meaningful action.

If climate change is caused by man, where are the bans on private jets, yachts, jet skis, boats, gas guzzling vehicles, burning yard waste, burning debris from land clearing, making charcoal, made for the dump manufactured goods etc etc

Clearly no government is really concerned about any environmental issues. How and why should we believe in climate change, or environmental problems when all actions a jokey?

One plastic coke bottle weighs more that 20 plastic grocery bags, which do you think we consume more of?

But balloons, seriously, could the rulers make themselves look and sound any more stupid?

These idiots are elected yes, but when we elected them, we did not know, nor expect them to enact these kinds of idiotic legislation. We as a society must figure out how to rein in these morons to stop their foolishness before it happens.

When we switched from paper bags to plastic we were told it would save trees, but the real reason was plastic bags etc were cheaper and therefore better for corporate profits. Now they want to switch away from some plastic, and the corporations will again profit.

This could not be any stupider. They must think we’re all brain dead to believe there BS

We should all by 25$ worth of balloons and release them downtown Nassau in protest.

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harvard242 1 month ago

Have you done your research at all on the amount of countries who have put regulations on single use plastics? Your last sentence is pure ignorance to the protection of the environment and the end goal here. If they don't begin with small steps, how will they ever get to the larger problems you mentioned. Do your research instead of looking for anything and everything to complain about.

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The_Oracle 1 month ago

No Problem with a Balloon release Ban, late by decades, as usual. The rest? George Orwell would be proud! Watch out for the plastics police! $3000/2000/ and $700 daily fines aught to apply to Littering in General. The Exemption list proves the worth of plastics in daily life, so the issue is with people!

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ColumbusPillow 1 month ago

In Sweden (smart people) they use WASTE TO ENERGY incinerator plants because landfilling is very bad for the environment. Use scrubbers and filters to remove all pollutants to totally meet environmental standards! there are over 400 of these plants in Europe, In Sweden over 50% of solid waste is consumed. Sweden IMPORTS 700,000 tons of garbage yearly to produce power and heating. 9 plants in Minnesota..

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K4C 1 month ago

Tynes Bay Waste Treatment Facility in Bermuda.plant has been operating since 1994 Bermuda has a two-unit waste-to-energy plant receiving an average of 70,000 tonnes of waste annually.

One would THINK someone in one of the 2 governing parties would speak to someone at one of the get togethers the Bahamas attends, I believe Barbados may be up and running as well, BUT as usual the Bahamas is into politics not solutions

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SP 1 month ago

Amazing! All kind of threats and fines for plastic but politicians can wheel, deal, rob the country blind and drive the entire country into the gutter without any fear of consequences!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

A ban on trash and garbage bags by the rats who sit in parliament would most assuredly cause an enormous explosion in our nation's rat population with outbreaks of all sorts of nasty diseases to follow. LMAO

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UserOne 1 month ago

I am proud of this government who are taking steps to protect the environment. With regard to retailers charging for bags, this is clearly to provide a deterrent so shoppers will bring their own reusable bags. Other countries have been doing this for decades.

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K4C 1 month ago

even when there is a cost associated with plastic bags, the issue is how one disposes of the plastic bag or single use food/drink containers, time to get Bahamians to dispose of them properly, then the environment will do what it does on it's own same for glass containers, not to mention derelict cars trucks appliances boats etc

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John 1 month ago

This doesn’t seem to be a ban on plastics (and balloons), it is a ban on Bahamians! Just review the legislation passed in the last few years with the outrageous fines and prison time. Someone is siccing this government on Bahamians to create hardship and misery. An up to $3,000 fine for releasing a balloon. And the fines on plastic bags( hope CDU get rid of their fish bags) Why don’t they just ban them completely. Is it the intent of this government for every Bahamian to have a criminal record before the next election? Or for every person and business to go broke paying these outrageous fines? This legislation came straight from the gates of Hell and them who brought it needs to go back there.

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harvard242 1 month ago

Or maybe.. just follow the law- that's a crazy idea huh? It is an effort to protect you and future generations. Stop being ignorant people!

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John 1 month ago

When stores purchase plastic bags they have to buy volume in order for it to be cost effective. And this quantity will run them three to five years. So after purchasing these bags they must now dump them or pay to use them. This government has to be totally sick and antiBahamian. Ban plastics if you have to buy this is outrageous.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

Our dimwitted PM told his cabinet ministers to float a balloon that would divert the attention of the majority of E- educated Bahamians away from BPL's inability to provide a reliable source of electricity. The Tribune of course easily fell victim to Minnis's diversionary tactic. LMAO

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moncurcool 1 month ago

Protecting the environment from so-called climate change, but won't protect the citizens from crooked politicians with the term limits bill for prime ministers or the recall bill for members fo parliament.

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DDK 1 month ago

HAVE THEY GONE ABSOLUTELY NUTS? THIS IS CERTIFIABLY INSANE. TIME TO SEND IN THE MEN IN WHITE COATS TO PUT THEM AWAY! WHERE DO THEY COME UP WITH ALL THIS BULL?

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harvard242 1 month ago

You have to be joking right? If you can't see the need for this legislation then the only person gone absolutely nuts is you.

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John 1 month ago

The fine for smoking a joint is less than that for releasing a ballon. Which one you choose? Light up a joint to celebrate rather than releasing a $3,000 balloon. Guess they will soon bann (plastic) credit cards so they have to put the chip in your hand.

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Only on any one colony's 700 islands, cays and inlets will parenting populaces little children's be fined $3,000, or have children's leg-ironed by their Imperialists red shirts masters for releasing bladder into air, yes, no .. Now, be written criminal law that colony's parenting populaces will be made turn over to courts the family's land papers - if god forbid, one their little children's 'accidentally' sets bladder free into heavens .... who could've made this up ... "Ignorantia balonus juris non excusat." ...

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DDK 1 month ago

But what is Cabinets' excuse?

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TalRussell 1 month ago

They just don't give a good fu#k, yes, no ....

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birdiestrachan 1 month ago

The merchants must have told the FNM Government the same as the New car dealers did They will increase their profits by not supplying plastic bags,

But the poor man can buy bags for twenty five cents or more. it puts an extra burden on the poor.

This Government does not care about poor people.

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Chucky 1 month ago

Time to march downtown , need everyone this time, let’s make sure they know who is boss

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Comrade Chucky, curious how you'd respond knowing that the last members populaces have locked-arms have marched down Bay Street, wasn't there strong street talk over how it was financed by a Lyford Cay billionaire, yes, no .... so much for what was billed as true sign independence away from two mainstream political parties ..... in fact, some same comrade marchers were to soon accept PopulacesPurse's appoints lock-arms very same Imperialists red shirts governing party's team .... absolutely, there's no making this up, and wouldn't fresh set march down Bay Street organisers be viewed as, suspect .......

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bcitizen 1 month ago

When is the new balloon enforcement arm of the RBPF going to be ready? Surely we will need to create a new agency and hire some more people for this and create a committee or two.

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