The government has announced that this decision is in keeping with the new thrust of promoting a green economy and environment.
According to a press report, the government has already granted approval for the immediate development of a legal framework to implement the ban on the importation and use of the product as well as laid out a platform for a public awareness program to educate the public on the consequences of the product usage and the benefits of alternatives.
The decision follows a series of consultations which were previously held with industry operators, importers, and other key stakeholders.
“It is hoped that this initiative will see a significant reduction in the effects of polystyrene foam products on solid waste management in Guyana and its negative impact on the environment, while leading to the further development of new enterprises in the alternatives sector,“ the government said in a statement.
“The improper disposal of the single use item has been, and remains a threat to human health and the wider environment, incurring clean up and disposal costs amounting to millions of dollars, a cost borne by the tax paying public,” said the Ministry of the Presidency.
The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment will be collaborating with the Ministries of Business, Legal Affairs, and Finance via the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), to implement the ban.
Polystyrene foam makes up about 2-5 per cent of the waste stream in the country and is widely used in the food service industry.
In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and International Agency for Research on Cancer have determined styrene as a possible human carcinogen.
It has also been found that 57 chemical by-products are released during the combustion of expanded polystyrene foam.
Moreover, recycling of the product is a major problem and it takes a very long time to break down naturally.
Editing by Jesus Chan
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