Remarks by the President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Clinton Urling
Welcome and thank you to organizers and attendees…
The impact on businesses is not expected to be significant and is unlikely to amount to any economic hardship to any sector. There are several reasons for my position:
Ministry should write all food service operators and inform them of the impending ban so as to give them sufficient time and notice. Duties on alternative should be zero rated for a minimum three months adjustment period and lower than the current rate for Styrofoam after the adjustment period.
Additionally, Government should encourage and offer concessions to companies willing to invest in setting up manufacturing plants for cardboard, paper, and other compostable/biodegradable materials.
I want to close with a word of caution and reminder that the proposed ban would not Reduce Litter.
Litter is a people problem, not a materials problem. Even with the banning of Polystyrene, our drains and alleyways is still vulnerable to being clogged up to their throats with debris and other discarded materials. Those who would heedlessly toss a polystyrene cup on the ground would be just as likely to do the same with a plastic cup or a paper cup. Changing the form or composition of the container is not likely to change how people dispose of it.
I want to stress that there is no environmentally acceptable form of litter and we need to ensure that there is a comprehensive policy that addresses litter with the primary aim of changing the attitudes and culture of our people. It is we the people who more than anything else should be banned from defacing and harming the environment through littering.
Finally, the biggest threat to our environment across the country and what is the biggest hindrance to our collective efforts is the malaise, mismanagement and confusion that prevail at our municipalities across the country. I cannot over emphasize the importance of holding local government elections under the four local government reform bills that were recently passed in the national assembly.
I wish for a productive session this morning. Thank you.