DOE details amendment to plastic pollution regulations
Tuesday, February 15th, 2022
Through the Department of the Environment (DOE) within the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management, the government continues its efforts to fully implement the regulations that will see the end of pollution from plastics in Belize. On Monday, February 14th, the DOE informed the public about the amendment to the Environmental Protection (Pollution from Plastics) Regulations providing details on these changes, including a new phase-out process on single-use plastic products and strict deadlines.
Some of the regulations under Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 17 of 2022 (https://doe.gov.bz/download/si-no-17-of-2022-environmental-protection-pollution-from-plastics-amendment/) extends the phase-out timeframe for the manufacturing, sale, and possession of prohibited products, as per Regulation 33 (1) (b) (c) and (d). The SI also amends tariff codes and descriptions of goods for restricted products under Schedule 1 (Regulation 3). There is also the amendment for applications for importation and manufacturing of plastics as stated in Schedules III, and IV of the Environmental Protection (Pollution from Plastics) Regulations of SI No. 8 of 2020
This involves new dates in the phase-out dates for plastic products found in Regulation 33 (1), ceasing prohibited products’ importation. This includes single-use plastic products whose importation was to end on April 15, 2020. The manufacturing said prohibited products were to stop January 15, 2021 but was extended to January 31, 2022. The sale of these prohibited products was to stop on April 15, 2021 but has been extended to February 28, 2022. While the possession of plastic items was to end on July 14, 2021, suppliers/businesses have until March 31, 2022, to get rid of any additional prohibited product they may have in their establishments.
The official note from DOE stated that any person, business, or entity in contravention of these regulations commit an offense and is liable to summary conviction. The public is also notified that DOE and the Belize Bureau of Standards will continue to monitor and enforce the recently amended Environmental Protection (Pollution from Plastics) Regulations.
DOE also encourages anyone with doubts or seeking more information to contact them at telephone numbers 822-2548/2819, Fax: 822-2860. They can also be reached at email [email protected], [email protected], and via their website: www.doe.gov.bz.
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