Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
The Government of the Virgin Islands is determined to enact pieces of legislation that will holistically change the way that waste is treated in the Territory.
His Excellency the Governor Mr. John J. Rankin, CMG during the Speech from the Throne on January 18 stated that the Government was working towards the Waste Management Bill and the Plastic Litter Reduction and Container Deposit Bills.
The Governor in his address under the theme: Positioning the Virgin Islands through Legislation to continue improving the standard of living of our people, said legislations which will be brought forward to strengthen the legal framework for sustainable management of household waste, industrial waste, construction and demolition waste, and hazardous waste to protect health and the environment while improving the aesthetics of the Virgin Islands.
The Governor said, “The Plastic Litter Reduction and Container Deposit Bill will be introduced to reduce the use of single-use plastics; promote the use of environmentally friendly alternatives through economic incentives; reduce beverage container litter along roadsides, ghuts, coastal and marine areas, and on other public or private properties; and to also encourage recycling.”
Governor Rankin added, “The Plastic Litter Reduction and Container Deposit Bill will prohibit the importation manufacture, sale and distribution of food and beverage service-ware made of non-compostable plastic as well as single-use disposable plastic bags that are non-biodegradable. The Bill will also grant exemptions from import duty on all disposable plastic bags and food and beverage service-ware made of biodegradable or other compostable material. It will also establish a recycling fund for the collection and disbursement of the proceeds of a levy on prescribed items.”
The Throne Speech is aligned with the direction and goals of the Government's 2022 Budget under the theme: “Strategically positioning New Industries with Sustainability and Innovation: Continuing to improve the standard of living with focus on Education, Small Business, Healthcare and Technology”.
The Speech from the Throne is a tradition in Commonwealth and Overseas Territories and signals the opening of a new session of the House of Assembly. It highlights the legislative agenda of the Government of the Virgin Islands in addressing the needs of the public during the upcoming session of the House of Assembly.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Photo 1: Ministry of Health and Social Development logo
(Photo credit: GIS)