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Firms Warned Over Failure To Comply On Plastics

By Earyel Bowleg

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

THE Ministry of Environment has found a few businesses not compliant with the law requiring customers to be charged a fee for single-use plastic bags.

According to Senior Environmental Officer Dr Rhianna Neely-Murphy, at least two companies were warned by environmental officers for not following the Environmental Protection (Control of Plastic Pollution) Act mandate to charge customers a fee of between 25 cents to $1 for single-use plastic bags.

Since the law took effect on January 1, a few people have complained that some restaurants have been distributing free plastic bags as well as banned Styrofoam containers. Businesses can face a $2,000 fine for not complying with the law after receiving a warning.

Dr Neely-Murphy revealed on Monday that the ministry has sent out three teams aggressively doing inspections since January 3 to ensure adherence to the plastic ban. The law also prohibits the sale or use of Styrofoam cups and foodware as well as single-use plastic cutlery and straws. 

“We’re going to start in the southern New Providence this week, but we’ve had teams deployed in the west, in the east, in the downtown area, as well as in the central area like the malls and things like that.

“..Most businesses, the larger ones at least, have been compliant with exception of one or two and we will give them two weeks to become compliant and then we will revisit them.”

She previously told The Tribune that the government is not backing down from implementing the fee for single-use plastic bags. Environmental officer Lyndee Bowe insisted the 25 cents was not only a deterrent from using plastic bags, but to remind customers to bring reusable bag.

She argued: “Businesses knew from 2018, so we anticipated that not much stock would still be in country because they knew that the ban was coming. They knew that there would be a fee involved and we anticipated that they also knew that Bahamians would not be very pleased with paying for something that used to be free.”

Along with the plastic bag fee, merchants will need to report how many plastic bags have been sold. There is a fine of up to $1,000 for failing to keep records.

Comments

joeblow 1 month ago

What about the stores still serving up food in styrofoam?

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John 1 month ago

Many businesses are unclear about the law. The assumption is that these items cannot be imported after January 1st and can be used until July 1st when the total ban comes into effect.

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jujutreeclub 1 month ago

Ignorance is no excuse. They knew far in advance, but rather than ordering the right replacement bags, they continued to order the single use bags. See Rupert Roberts talking about he was hoping to make $75,000.00 a month on sales of plastic bags. I ain feel sorry for him.

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bogart 1 month ago

The legal ban will definitely put other containers likely other plastic containers nice new ones to go to CHARITABLE EVENTS, Social events, Medical Cookouts, School Fairs, Church Fairs, Fund Raising events, Funeral Gathering after service, Family get together, Sports events Regattas, events at some govt services having one use items, political rallys, Conch salad bowl, road side breakfast/lunch vendors selling Fire engine and questionable having events with the encouragement refreshments served afterwards.

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

Lunch vendors will have to raise their food prices …… more $$$uffering for Bahamians just to get a cheap breakfast or lunch …… social elite and special interests getting their "brownie points", but poor people will pay more for it.

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

Most packing boys will see their tips decline by 50% ….. poor will suffer for the plastic ban

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Porcupine 1 month ago

So did the typewriter manufacturing employees. Is this really the only job they can do. I give the bag boys more credit than that. Perhaps you and Picewell Forbes can get together and find a solution to this crime against bag boys.

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themessenger 1 month ago

Agreed! And what people like Sheep and Birdie can't seem to grasp is the fact that the bag boys still pack and tote my reusable bags as they probably continue to do for most shoppers.

And as mentioned previously, these same poor folks they whining about having to spend 25c on a bag can buy a reusable fabric bag for $1.29 in Super Value and dem po folks seem to have plenty money to buy cigarettes, $10 a pack, rum $18 a bottle, hair weave nails an ting or blowing their whole paycheck every week spinning in the webshop which has the knock-on effect of making them even poorer.

Boy when ya dumb ya dangerous....................

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