Monday, July 22, 2024

Final phase-out date for possession of prohibited plastic products goes into effect March 31st

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Through its Department of the Environment (DOE), the Government of Belize advises that the final phase-out date for prohibited plastic products is Thursday, March 31st. Importers and retailers are advised that possession of any banned items after this date will result in court action, which can incur fines and the cost of destruction or returning the items to the place of origin. To report any residual stockpiles and for assistance, stakeholders are asked to contact DOE by email at [email protected] or call 822-2819.

The prohibited items as per Schedule II of the Environmental Protection (Pollution from Plastics) Regulations, 2020 include disposable plastic and foam cups, plates, containers, plastic forks, spoons, straws, and lids. The complete phase-out for plastic products was to happen in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the process.

According to the old schedule, the importation of these prohibited plastic items was to end on April 15, 2020. Concerning manufacturing and production of these products was to stop by January 15, 2021, but was extended to January 31, 2022. The schedule indicates the sale of these prohibited products was to end on April 15, 2021, but was extended to February 28, 2022. While the possession of plastic items was to end on July 14, 2021, suppliers/businesses now had until March 31, 2022, to remove any additional prohibited products they may have in their establishments.

DOE asks the public and stakeholders to comply with these new regulations. Importers are reminded that personnel from the Belize Bureau of Standards will continue monitoring and enforcing the law.

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