Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Good move on plastic, styrofoam

Published:Friday | September 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I commend the Government and stakeholders, spearheaded by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), for implementing a ban on single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and styrofoam products, effective January 1, 2019.

I'm surprised at critics such as Wisynco's William Mahfood, who claims the ban went through without proper consultation, and that the timeline for implementation is too short, suggesting three to five years' warning would've been better. Has he been asleep the past decade?

As a manufacturer of these products, don't tell me he hasn't been following the news where the damaging impact of plastics and other non-biodegradable products on the environment has been clearly documented. Manufacturers in Jamaica have been given a year to exit production.

It is unfortunate that companies such as Wisynco didn't anticipate this and want more time.

Plastic and styrofoam are ending up in our landfills and seas. They are also loaded with harmful chemicals, colorants, and toxins. We have used boxes, paper and other biodegradable products in the past. Let's go back to basics.

I'm really disappointed with Wisynco, one of the largest producers of these products. Corporations must become better corporate citizens. They must be in tune with social issues in order to remain profitable and sustainable. They must be able to adapt.

A company such as Wisynco should've been the ones leading the way on these issues. It shouldn't always be about sales and profit margins!

Let's act more responsibly. We ought to support all efforts to keep our environment (and, ultimately, our communities) safe and healthy.

P. CHIN

chin_p@yahoo.com