Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2020. 4:43 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Following the passage of the Environmental Protection (Pollution from Plastics) Regulations, 2020, which came into effect as law on January 15, the Government of Belize (GOB) continues its phase-out of plastics and styrofoam utensils with a new set of activities.
The Belize Bureau of Standards reported today that the Department of the Environment (DOE) has received a one-year grant agreement from the British Government for the establishment of standards for biodegradable materials (to guide investors in their transition to biodegradable products and phasing-out of single-use plastics), and the implementation of a National Certification Scheme for biodegradable products.
The BBS noted that those standards would also be extended to guiding the export industry on biodegradable packaging materials. To further facilitate the transition, authorities are following a road map that was developed to guide the implementation of key project components within strict timelines.
The BBS and the DOE in collaboration with ASTM International (formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials) will be hosting three days worth of workshops from January 28-30, 2020, which includes a day for the private sector, public sector, and one for the Biodegradable Technical Committee, whose role would be to develop biodegradable product standards and review of relevant existing standards (other national, regional and international standards) to help the country with the phase-out.
“The workshops will be facilitated by a technical expert from ASTM and are aimed at strengthening awareness and knowledge with respect to biodegradable and compostable materials which will enable a better understanding of the proposed standards currently under development,” the BBS said.
GOB’s 2018 decision to enshrine the phase-out of single-use plastics and styrofoam in law has been hailed in the region and the larger international community as a win for the environment. Several countries within the region are pursuing similar bans on plastics.
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