Guyana to Ban Single-Use Plastics in 2021

GEORGETOWN,
Guyana, Wednesday March 6, 2019
– The year 2021 has been designated for the
systematic ban of single-use plastics in Guyana.

This was
announced by Minister of State Joseph Harmon, under whose purview the
Department of Environment falls, as he addressed a World Wildlife Day Youth
Forum.

“The work
has already begun on sensitizing our population to the fact that 2021 is the
date we have identified for a ban on single-use plastics,” he said.

“And so it
is important that we get ourselves ready for that, and minimize the use of
single-use plastics.”

As much as
40 per cent of the world’s oceans are affected by pollution, with an estimated
eight million metric tonnes of plastic waste entering those waters annually.

Minister
Harmon said this “provides a good opportunity to raise awareness about the vast
diversity of marine life globally, its crucial importance to human development
and the importance of prudent management of marine resources for future
generations.”

This year’s
World Wildlife Day theme ‘Life below Water: for People and Planet’ aligns with
the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 which relates to the
conservation of the oceans. This includes the expansion of protected areas for
marine biodiversity, intensification of research capacity and increases in
ocean science funding which remain critically important to preserve marine
resources.

Minister
Harmon highlighted that in addition to aligning with SDG 14, the theme also
aligns with Objective 3 of Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy (GSDS).

“Objective 3 includes the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of coastal and marine resources is, therefore, aimed at ensuring that Guyana adopts an enhanced program and institute measures to engage in the sustainable use and preservation of our marine and coastal ecosystems,” he noted.

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