“It is the intention of the government to move forward with legislating single-use plastics in such a way as to have the largest possible positive impact on the environment and human health whilst at the same time minimising any negative economic impacts,” Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban said in the House of Assembly.
The Minister’s full statement follows below:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform this Honourable House of the results of the public consultation on single-use plastics that was conducted during the autumn of 2021. Honourable members will be aware that a policy was launched in August entitled: “Regulating Single-use plastics in Bermuda: Policy paper for public consultation”. I would also like to inform Honourable Members of the next steps that we intend to take to ensure the realization of this Throne Speech initiative.
Mr. Speaker, you will be aware that the general public was asked to provide feedback on the policy paper and the proposals contained therein. I am happy to inform this Honourable House that the response was extremely good. The Bermuda Government Forum page has been in use for over three years now and this request for feedback garnered the third highest public response in terms of ideas generated and the fifth highest in terms of numbers of participants, with nearly sixty unique respondents. The Ministry also directly received a number of responses to the policy paper.
Additionally, during the consultation period, five public information talks were held in conjunction with the Bermuda National Trust, Keep Bermuda Beautiful, the Chamber of Commerce, and Beyond Plastic. The talks were co-presented by a representative from the Ministry of Home Affairs as well as one from the Ministry of Public Works. Furthermore, I participated in a phone-in session on the radio on the topic of single-use plastics. In total, some 250 persons were registered for the public presentations and the numbers reached by radio were likely substantial as well. Thus, in total, the Ministry engaged with hundreds of persons during the public consultation period. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their interest and engagement on this important initiative.