Sun | Nov 18, 2018

EU delegation head welcomes plastic, Styrofoam ban

Published:Monday | October 22, 2018 | 10:28 AM
Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska (second left), Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Her Excellency Laurie Peters (stooping), and EU employees and other volunteers during the EU’s beach clean up at the Y-Knot Beach in Port Royal, Kingston on Saturday, October 20, 2018 - Contributed photo.

Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, has welcomed plans by the Government to introduce a ban on single-use plastic bags and straws and Styrofoam containers in an effort to reduce their impact on the environment.

“We not only recognise and applaud this, but we want to do everything in our power, as the European Union together with [other supporting partners], to help with this and to draw attention to the fact that it [pollution of the environment] cannot continue like this,” Ambassador Wasilewska said.

She made the comment while participating in the EU’s beach clean-up exercise at Y-Knot Beach in Port Royal, Kingston, on Saturday.

Among the volunteers were employees of the EU Delegation, and Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Her Excellency Laurie Peters.

Ambassador Wasilewska said the EU plans to partner with the Canadian High Commissioner, the Port Royal Primary School and the Port Royal community in endeavours aimed at protecting the environment in that region.

“We all have a collective responsibility to act [and] to be vigilant [because] a lot needs to be changed in Jamaica. There has to be education and collective responsibility,” she emphasised.

The EU Delegation Head alluded to documentaries that highlight the environmental hazard posed by plastic material particularly in the seas and oceans where they “are often found in the bellies of fish and other marine life, which eventually becomes part of the food chain.”

“So it is not just that we have a responsibility to look after the environment but, in reality, we have to look after ourselves,” she stated.

The Ambassador added that “Jamaica is so beautiful… its natural beauty, the nature, the ocean, the beaches, it’s the biggest treasure of the people… and tourism brings a lot of revenue… [so] it is essential to protect it”.

“It is a big shock, [in terms of] how much plastic and other waste is disposed of by people in the middle of nature, in the middle of highways, and how much goes through the gullies to the ocean and then some are washed up on the beaches,” Ambassador Wasilewska said.

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