The Earth Is Choking

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earth is choking

Climate change is and has been one of the most urgent threats facing the earth today. More specifically, Global Warming is not a threat for the future but a present reality.

Can you imagine what the world will look like or be if we do not act now?

Every country today, including Jamaica, has become even more conscious of their surroundings. This has brought a world-wide cohesion with countries making every effort to slow down, stop or even reverse the depletion of the environment; one specific ban is that of plastic bags.

In the United States, most of the supermarkets and other retailers have already transitioned from the distribution of plastic bags to consumers, issuing paper bags or reusable bags which are purchased. Likewise, in the United Kingdom, consumers are either forced to bring their own bags, carry their goods in their hand or pay 0.10 GBp (10 pence) or sometimes even 0.20 GBp for a plastic bag.

We see here that the trend in these countries does not fully ban the use, but only deters consumers from their usage because of the cost associated. However, effective January 1, 2019, the Jamaican government will ban the use of plastic altogether and will charge any company if they are caught using it.

What does this mean?

Plastics have always been the cheaper and more convenient packaging option. Persons would not only be able to take their groceries in loads but later be used as garbage bags. This ban will both hurt retailers as well as consumers. Companies will now have to source an alternative way to package their products (usually more expensive than plastic) and therefore, as the company’s expense increases, so too do the cost of the items to consumers.

On the other hand, changing for the better sometimes costs you more. Companies or individuals can take this change as a market opportunity to provide alternative packaging, valued at around JMD 3 Billion. In the 60’s and 70’s, most of the bags that were being used were of paper material.

Jamaica Packaging Industries Limited (JPI) is wondering whether the country will revert to using same; the company already conducts the importation of paper bags from Latin America in small quantities and is looking to increase the supply due to the projected level of demand. Similarly, our well-known junior market packaging company AMG Packaging & Paper Company [JSE: AMG] is also doing their research and feasibility study.

Plastic bags not only pollute our water and land, but they are harmful to wildlife, marine life, human health and is very costly to remove from the environment. This ban can be the source of saving money, energy and building businesses, which will, in turn, boost our economy.



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