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No more single-use plastic and Styrofoam after March, says Cabinet

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Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2022. 7:29 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: At the end of March, the manufacturing, sale, and possession of prohibited products under the Environmental Protection (Pollution from Plastics) Regulations must cease.

Cabinet has amended Section 33 (1) b, c, and d of the Plastics Regulations concerning the transitional period regulating the manufacturing, sale, and possession of prohibited products.

The regulations came into effect on January 15, 2020 and provide transitional periods of three months for ceasing importation of prohibited products; six months for ceasing manufacturing of prohibited products; nine months for ceasing the sale of prohibited products, and 12 months for possession of prohibited products.

The public is informed that no more prohibited products can be manufactured after January 31; sold after February 28; or possessed after March 31, 2022.

Under Schedule II of the regulations, the following are prohibited: single-use Styrofoam clamshell containers; food and soup containers, plates, cups and lids, other Styrofoam and plastic plates not classified as barrier bags and plastics; plastic carrier shopping and t-shirt bags; disposable food containers and cutlery and eating utensils, including forks, knives, spoons, sporks and others; single-use plastic plates, bowls and cups; single-use disposable drinking straws; and other such equipment not classified as barrier bags and plastics.

These are goods used for one time only to contain food or liquids intended for immediate consumption, either taken away or consumed on the spot, composed of plastic or Styrofoam or both; cups for liquids and beverages for the same purpose, and shopping bags and similar lightweight bags used to transport goods.

The phase-out of the products listed above does not include those used for medical purposes, pharmaceutical purposes, and as barrier bags and plastics necessary for health and safety, unless a reasonable alternative exists on the local market, per the regulations.

Per sections 24 to 27 of the Regulations, importation, sale, or manufacture of prohibited products draws a fine of 10 to 20 thousand dollars or three times the assessed value of the prohibited product, plus the cost of returning or disposing of the product and jail time of up to six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.

Possession of such products is limited to ten items. If a person has more than 10 but less than 100 such items the amount above ten will be confiscated; persons with between 100 and 500 pieces shall be fined either $1,000 or three times the cost of the product, whichever is greater, and those with more than 500 pieces draw a fine of $5,000 or three times the cost of the product, whichever is greater. The medical and pharmaceutical exemptions apply.

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