EPA wants Public to be “eyes and ears” on styrofoam ban enforcement in 2017
With 2017 fast approaching, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to members of the public for support in its effort to fully enforce the ban on Styrofoam use in Guyana.
News Room, spoke with Environmental Officer Aretha Forde, today (Thursday, December 22, 2016) who said January 1 will mark one year of the ban on the importation of this product. In 2017, Ms Forde says the goal is to fully enforce the ban which means sanctions and seizures for those found using and selling Styrofoam containers.
It is with this aspect, that the EPA is hoping the members of the public would be the agency’s “eyes and ears on the ground.” However, there is no set deadline on when this will be called into effect as the EPA and related agencies are erring on the side of thoroughness.
According to Ms Forde, the EPA and related agencies are working to determine what would be a good date as they still need to do more public awareness activities done to ensure that they get full buy-in.
Regarding other plans for the EPA in 2017, she said, there are plans to de-centralise much of their human resources in order to ensure a comprehensive national response to environmental activities.
In addition she says “there’s also the compliance and enforcement regulations we’re (the EPA) hoping to have passed in the National Assembly and this will see more persons being employed …to conduct monitoring and investigations.”
Moves to first restrict the use of Styrofoam products were introduced in 2013 by the former PPP/Civic administration; but it was not until January 1, this year that the ban on the importation of the item was fully introduced with a three month grace period so that businesses would have been able to accept and declare these items to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Since then the GRA, has been working closely to the EPA to address and curb smuggling of Styrofoam and ensure there is full compliance with the ban however, so far response has been largely positive.