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Neither you nor your customers should be left uncovered with the ban instituted on January 1, 2019. As we are all aware the government of Jamaica instituted a ban on the importation of all single use plastic bags, 24×24 dimension and smaller; plastic drinking straws; and imported Styrofoam containers. Since the ban came in to effect you would have had to take your groceries and other items bought in alternative containers such as reusable shopping bags, paper bags or card board boxes. You may have also noticed some persons walking with their purchased items in their hands. While all supplies of the banned items have not totally ran out and some remain available on the market, we don’t want to be left uncovered when all banned supplies are gone.

But, what does this mean for the MSME sector? As an entrepreneur we all play a vital role in supporting and maintaining good environmental conditions, and should seek the information necessary to assist with navigating this new paradigm, while remaining fully operational and profitable. The benefits are numerous and worth embracing the change. And, as an avid entrepreneur, we always see the opportunity right?

Here are a few things to consider to keeping everything covered and ease the wondering of what to do given there is a ban:

  1. Styrofoam containers and plastic bags can be replaced by:
  2. Eco friendly Clam shell containers
  3. Containers made from Paper or cardboard
  4. Paper bags (like the ones you usually get in a pharmacy)
  5. Reusable tote bags
  • Embrace the change and see the opportunity.
    • Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. This approach allows us to save, be creative and reap greater benefits from items bought. Consider what you can reduce, re-use and recycle for greater benefits for your business.
  •  Stock up on items to assist your customers with their shopping experience. This will encourage persons to do business with you and provide confidence that doing business with you will not leave them uncovered.

So whether you sell in the market, sell cooked meals and snacks, manufactured products, or agricultural produce instead of stocking up on plastic bags now you can stock up on reusable shopping bags and for added value you have the opportunity to brand it.

The list below provided by National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) outlines a list of alternatives including suppliers of these materials. Please feel free to contact these companies to identify the containers suitable for you. 

Material Company Phone Location Contact
100% Biodegradable & Compostable Products: CutleryPlant based bottlesTake-out food containersFibre’s platesCups & lidsBowls & lidsPaper Hot cups IngenBio 876 577 2433
Paper based packaging BeveragesBaked goodsBulk liquids Jamaica Packaging Industries 876 656 9488 154 Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston 13
fast food packages baked products packages Dynamic Packaging products 876 9236490 8 East Ashenheim Road Kingston 11
Cardboard BoxesTrays & SheetsPadsSheetsDividersCarton BoxesProduce BoxesDie Cut Packaging Corrugated Packaging Corrpak Jamaica Ltd 876 470 7921 154 Marcus Garvey Dr, Kingston  
Paper bagsPaper carry out bagPaper cupsPaper soup cupsPaper lunch boxesBiodegradable plastic bags (corn starch)Biodegradable Ziploc bagsBamboo fibre platesBamboo fibre cupsBamboo fibre utensilsPalm leaf plates Alibaba App None available Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
Eco Natural Shopping BagsPaper BagsGrease Resistant Sos Bag Premier packaging 800 203 5558 /315 986 0030 1635 Commons Parkway, Macedon, NY 14502 Fax: 800-203-2703
Plates and clamshellBowlsCupsSupermarket traysFood trays Be Green Packaging 470.440.7117 4427 Grays Highway Ridgeland, SC 29936   Terminus 100 6th Floor #138 3280 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta, GA 30305
Biodegradable corn starch bagsBiodegradable corn starch cup Biodegradable corn starch platesBiodegradable corn starch lunch containersBiodegradable corn starch spoon and forkPalm leaf platesBamboo fibre platesBamboo fibre cupsBamboo fibre utensils Global Sources 65 6547 2800 /800 870 8887 /400 602 2028 China
Palm leaf plates Eco Palm leaf 91 953 845 7888/ 918- 39956789 Holehonnur Road, Chikkakudi Shimoga District, KARNATAKA INDIA
Palm leaf plates Ever Green Eco Concepts 91 99448 81493 Plot no.93 Sastri Nagar 3rd Street Dindigul – 624 003 Tamil Nadu India     Fax : + 91 451 2440062
Potato starch platesPotato starch cupsPotato starch garbage bagsPotato starch food trayWooden spoon and forkPaper Napkins Earth Pack 0508 768 286 /09 274 0842 PO Box 74-079 Greenlane Auckland 1546, New Zealand
Bagasse cupBagasse platesBagasse strawsBagasse hot cupsBagasse cold cupBagasse soup cupsBagasse clamshell True Choice pack 937 630 3832 TrueChoicePack Corp 5155 Financial Way, # 6 Mason, OH 45040, USA
Bagasse plateBagasse cupBagasse eating utensilsBagasseclamshellsBagasse bagsBagasse bowlsBagasse soufflé cup Word Centric 707-241-9190 617 2nd St, Suite C Petaluma, CA 94952, USA Fax: 866-850-9732
Paper strawBamboo PlatesBamboo CupsBamboo TraysBamboo Covered dishBamboo covered containers Pappco Greenware 91 2222414333 226/30, Kalbadevi Road, 4th Floor, Chamber Bhavan, Mumbai – 400 002. India

While some suppliers are located overseas, your local wholesale or distributor may be your first point of contact unless you plan to import.

Where you are low on funds to stock up on well needed items, JN Small Business Loans also has you covered with a suitable loan to help you take full opportunity, contact us at JN Small Business Loans via web ( or social media for your loan possibility.

We know you will embrace the change and while doing so increase customer loyalty and increase earnings.

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