Reminders of the requirements under the ban on petroleum based plastics are being prepared for defaulters by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy.
And, at the same time, Minister Kirk Humphrey has announced that it was his intention to seek Cabinet approval to increase the penalties from $50,000 to $100,000.
Highlighting some of the discrepancies that were taking place since the ban, including over pricing products because of containers and the “quiet” sale of banned plastics, the Minister described the practices as “insane”.
“This is the final warning. I have already instructed that we send letters reminding what the law says, but this is the final warning. I think we have reached a point where you are very, very aware of what the legislation says, and have an understanding of the damage that it is doing, but you are making a deliberate attempt to do so for profiteering purposes. That is not going to work for us,” Mr. Humphrey cautioned.
He made these comments following a tour of COT Holdings Limited at Newton, Christ Church, last Friday.
The Minister further warned that those who continued to import products and suggest that they fit what was allowed under the new legislation, were in violation and penalties would be enforced.
“I am now making a recommendation to Cabinet to move the penalty from $50,000 to $100,000 …. That is to reinforce the seriousness with which we are taking this matter, and that once we are clear … that these products contain polyethylene or any products that we have banned, then we will apply the law,” he stated.
Humphrey explained that under the current legislation, if persons imported items that were considered contraband, or illegal, the fine was $100,000, and it was Government’s intention to move the penalties for the ban on plastics in line with the standard.
However, he noted that generally, Barbadians were compliant with the ban, and he was happy with the response so far.