Guyana to ban single-use plastics by 2021

Plastic bag. Image: Takoma Park
Solid waste

The government of Guyana has confirmed its intention to implement a systematic ban on single-use plastics by 2021:

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon … said “the work has already begun on sensitising our population to the fact that 2021 is the date we have identified for a ban on single-use plastic.”

The authorities said that as much as 40 per cent of the oceans is tremendously affected by pollution with an estimated eight million metric tons of plastic waste entering the world’s ocean annually, and Harmon said this “provides a good opportunity to raise awareness about the vast diversity of marine life globally, its crucial importance to human development and the importance of prudent management of marine resources for future generations”.’

Plans to prohibit single-use plastics in Guyana were originally announced in April 2018:

According to Minister of State Joseph Harmon … the ending of the use of plastic bags across Guyana is on the Government’s agenda. He explained that plastic is a problem across the world and Guyana, for its part, was not exempted from the consequences of this pollution.

“Cabinet agreed that the matter had to be addressed if we were truly committed to the tenets of our green state development strategy… It was further agreed that the Government would adapt and institute measures to minimise the use of plastic and propose appropriate legislation to give effect to these measures,” the Minister explained.

According to Harmon, a Cabinet memorandum was prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [detailing] the phasing out of plastic. Providing a timeline, Harmon was optimistic that the ban could be pulled off by the year 2021.

In 2016, Guyana banned the importation, sale and use of styrofoam food service containers.

[Image: Takoma Park]

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