Support for Plastic Ban Remains High – NEPA

He noted that the public has been kept informed about the policy through public education and sensitisation sessions in communities across the island. Chief Executive Officer, National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Peter Knight, says public acceptance and support for the Government’s ban on single use plastic bags, straws and polystyrene (Styrofoam), remains high. Story Highlights “The acceptance has been great. We have seen remarkable behaviour and attitude changes among members of the population,” he said, while addressing the ‘Let’s Talk Environment and Planning’ panel discussion and forum at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on June 5. Chief Executive Officer, National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Peter Knight, says public acceptance and support for the Government’s ban on single use plastic bags, straws and polystyrene (Styrofoam), remains high.“The acceptance has been great. We have seen remarkable behaviour and attitude changes among members of the population,” he said, while addressing the ‘Let’s Talk Environment and Planning’ panel discussion and forum at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on June 5.He noted that the public has been kept informed about the policy through public education and sensitisation sessions in communities across the island.“Our teams have been in the field and we have done publications,” he added.Mr. Knight said the policy has also received rave reviews worldwide.“Just last week, the Miami Herald had a very thoughtful article on the Government’s policy action. The policy is well received and by our calculations, we would say the policy has a 95 per cent support among the population but also from the wider Caribbean and worldwide,” he said.Mr. Knight lauded all the agencies that have been instrumental in the enforcement of the ban, particularly the Jamaica Customs Agency.He said the support from the agency has been excellent in preventing the banned products from entering the country.The forum and panel discussion, held on World Environment Day, was part of activities in observation of  National Environmental Awareness Week from June 1-5 under the theme: ‘A Better Environment Equals a Better Life, Do the Right Thing.’The ban, imposed by the Government on January 1, 2019, also covers the importation, manufacture and distribution of the plastic materials.The bags banned are those commonly referred to as ‘scandal bags’ and others with dimensions of 24 inches by 24 inches or less.NEPA has been charged with the implementation of the policy. read more

Jamaicans Encouraged to Exercise Caution When Using Pesticides

When large amounts of pesticides are used near waterways, accidents could lead to runoff, which could contaminate the water source. Jamaicans are being encouraged to exercise caution when using pesticides, especially near waterways that are accessed by nearby communities. Jamaicans are being encouraged to exercise caution when using pesticides, especially near waterways that are accessed by nearby communities.The advice comes from the Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) as both entities perform their regulatory functions to protect the people and environment of Jamaica.When large amounts of pesticides are used near waterways, accidents could lead to runoff, which could contaminate the water source.Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Pesticide Control Authority Registrar, Tamara Morrison, pointed out that if pesticides get into the waterway, “dilution would take care of some of it, and depending on the actual chemical, non-target organisms could be affected”.Pesticide Control Authority Registrar, Tamara Morrison, addresses a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’. Ms. Morrison encourages all persons to exercise care when they use pesticides, particularly near waterways. Story Highlights The advice comes from the Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) as both entities perform their regulatory functions to protect the people and environment of Jamaica. “So, we may have some fish kill, and there can be a problem if persons further down [stream] do not know, because persons do collect water for use in houses,” she said.In such an event, the response would be a collaborative one involving ministries, departments and agencies responsible for water, soils, public health and emergencies.For his part, NEPA’s Senior Manager, Environmental Management, Richard Nelson, said most pesticides have a short shelf life that diminishes the longer they are exposed to water and air.“If waterways should become contaminated with pesticides, an advisory would be issued to the public not to use water from that source. We (NEPA) would go in and conduct a series of tests on the water, and when it has been found to be safe for use, the public would be notified,” he said.While both PCA and NEPA conduct training sessions for farmers, in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), they do acknowledge that other persons use pesticides as well, and urge them to be mindful in their use.“Carefully read the instructions on the labels. Once you adhere to that, you should be okay, because it does say how you should apply the pesticide and in what quantity. Also, never throw the unused portion of the pesticide into water bodies, because it may cause a fish kill and there are other persons downstream that use the water and may be affected,” Mr. Nelson said.For more information on pesticide use, contact the PCA at 876- 633-7769 and www.caribpesticides.net. read more

PHOTOS MSET Quarterly Staff Fair

Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Wahkeen Murray (left), addresses staff of the Ministry during the Ministry’s Corporate Services Division’s Quarterly Staff Fair, held on Thursday (August 29) at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica’s Auditorium in Kingston. Seated is guest speaker at the event, Investment Guru, John Jackson. Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Wahkeen Murray (right), presents a reusable tote bag to Investment guru, John Jackson, at the Ministry’s Corporate Services Division’s Quarterly Staff Fair on Thursday (August 29) at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica’s Auditorium in Kingston. Mr. Jackson was guest speaker at the Fair.