Senators set to delay July paper bag ban and school exemptions | News

Cashier Michelle Devera places a customer’s groceries into a reusable bag, provided by the University of Guam’s Guam Green Growth Initiative, at the 7-Day Supermarket on Route 16 on November 1, 2021, in Dededo .

Senators introduced a bill on Wednesday that would delay the looming paper bag ban until July 1, 2025.

Legislation passed in 2018 banned the sale and distribution of disposable plastic bags on the island, and the law was again amended in 2020 to ban all disposable bags. But retailers and wholesalers have been allowed to continue distributing paper bags until July 1, 2022.

Now Senator Sabina Perez wants to give businesses another three years to comply with the ban, through her. Bill 245. Perez said Wednesday that the extension is for “those who want to eliminate and use their existing supplies, rather than going to landfill, and allow more time to develop reusable options.”

According to Perez, the Centers for Island Sustainability at the University of Guam testified that making paper bags creates four times more pollution than making plastic bags.

But businesses that have been closed during the pandemic remained a concern, she added, especially with the rebound of the local tourism industry still uncertain.

“The reason for the change in timeline was to accommodate those who have been hardest hit – tourism retailers and wholesalers who have been heavily impacted due to the two-year shutdown and have been unable to utilize their significant supply” , she said. .

Vice President Tina Muna Barnes was in favor of the extension.

“I know a lot of companies were asking for an extension,” she said. “If we allow them this time, it just shows that we are listening. We want to make these accommodations, but that doesn’t mean it takes away from what we think we need to do to protect our environment.

The measure has been transferred to the voting record without objection, and senators will vote on it at the end of the April session.

Exceptions for school days

Also advanced on Wednesday Bill 286to exempt Guam Department of Education students from the required 180 days of instruction, and Bill 287to waive the service-learning hours requirement in high school.

The instructional day waiver applies to primary and secondary students enrolled in the 2020 to 2021 and 2021 to 2022 school years. The service learning waiver applies to secondary school students in the 2021 school years to 2022. Both were introduced by Senator Telena Nelson at the request of the GDOE.

Senator Perez also amended measures that would require the Department of Education to provide the Legislature with a report on learning loss among high school students during the pandemic by June 2023.

The measurements were transferred to the voting record without objection.