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Photo courtesy www.nrdc.org.

The Jamaica government Monday dismissed calls for a postponement of the ban on plastic bags that goes into effect on January 1.

The main opposition People’s National Party (PNP) has called for the postponement and urging the government to move expeditiously to an island-wide public education and awareness campaign to sensitize the public ahead of any move to replace the popular plastic bags.

The Opposition wishes to reiterate its support for the ban on single-use plastic bags and believes that this is a major step toward protecting the environment, but it must be approached with much more seriousness than [it] is presently receiving,” said the party’s shadow minister on land and the environment, Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns.

“The Opposition stands ready to support a strong public education campaign to ensure its smooth implementation,” she added.

But in a message posted on Tweeter, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said “come January 1, 2019 there will be a ban on single use of plastic “sandal” bags, plastic drinking straws and the importation of expanded polystyrene foam food containers”.

“Let us protect our environment,” Holness tweeted.

Frazer-Binns said the postponement is even more needed in light of the concerns from stakeholders about the lack of knowledge regarding what is to happen come January 1, 2019 when the ban takes effect.

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