Azan’s, Juici among five fined for plastic ban breaches

Five of the six businesses charged with breaching the prohibition order concerning single-use plastic bags were fined when their cases were heard in the Corporate Area Parish Court yesterday.

Kidtopia Limited pleaded not guilty. Its case is set for mention again on Thursday, February 20.

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) charged the businesses with breaching Section 3 of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (Plastic Packing Material Prohibition) Order, 2018.

Four of the defendants – Orient Express Limited, Doreen’s Restaurant, Taurus Garden, and Azan’s Discount Fabrics Limited – were each charged $30,000, or 30 days in prison, while Juici Patties received a reduced sentence of $15,000, or 30 days in prison.

Stewart Panton, counsel for NEPA, told The Gleaner that Juici’s sentence was moderated because of the company’s misunderstanding about the use of white plastic bags in which it served coco bread as well as its impressive environmental track record.

He explained that the court accepted Juici Patties’ explanation that it erred in its interpretation of Paragraph (4) Section (a) of the act, which speaks to exemptions, as follows: “It shall not apply to single-use plastic used to maintain public health and food safety, including packaging used by wholesalers and retailers to distribute raw meat, eggs, sugar, rice, or baked goods.

“So what Juici assumed was that the white plastic bags in which they served coco bread, that it was it acceptable, but it was not,” Panton said.

The court also took into account the fact that Juici Patties is a participant in NEPA’s Green Business Programme, which is operated on a voluntary basis.

In addition, when NEPA assessed the patty company’s Clarendon Park facilities almost a year ago, it was found that Juici had established commendable measures that were part of their operational procedures. For example, solar panels had been installed, and the company had switched from polystyrene boxes long before the ban and had opted for polypropylene bags, which are still not banned. Juici had also adopted water-efficiency and other conservation measures.


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