April 13, 2021

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They favor the prohibition of foam coolers on the beaches

They object to a ban on masks

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The capitol – The Committee on Natural Resources, Environmental Affairs and Recycling of the House of Representatives, chaired by Representative Edgardo Feliciano Sánchez, attended this Thursday Projects 442 and 316, which seek to prohibit the use of masks, disposable gloves and refrigerators of “foam”On the beaches due to the excessive accumulation of solid waste that exists today.

The measures presented by representative Ángel Matos García received input from the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER), the Department of Justice (DJ), the Department of Health (DS) and the Tourism Company (CTPR).

Thes The agencies present exposed in their explanatory presentations, that they favor the prohibition of refrigerators of polystyrene, known as refrigerators of “foam”, And said they were against the regulation of the use of masks on the beaches.

The representative of the DNER secretariat, Laura Díaz, reported that the agency endorses House Bill 442. “The public policy that the project intends to implement is essential to address the problem posed by disposable products of polystyrene or ‘foam“to our natural resources,” said the graduate in written communication.

Likewise, Justice assured, through the spokesman Iván Soto, that the agency “does not find a legal impediment that limits the power of the Legislative Assembly to prohibit the use of refrigerators of ‘foam‘in the spas of Puerto Rico ”.

In its support of the project, Tourism recommended that the ban on refrigerators be extended to all bodies of water in Puerto Rico that are used recreationally.

“There is no doubt that the polystyrene they represent a problem for our environment, since they affect the landscape, the wildlife, as well as the diversity of marine life, ”said the agency.

On the other hand, in the discussion of the measures, the Supreme Decree objected to House Bill 316, which proposes to prohibit, in addition to masks, the use of disposable gloves on beaches, spas and other bodies of water.

“We recommend that, instead of prohibiting the use of masks, an educational campaign be established aimed at encouraging and raising awareness in the general population about the proper disposal of all solid waste in recreational areas, such as beaches,” said Alexis Oquendo Vargas, Coordinator of the Educational Project for the Control and Prevention of Health Infections.

Oquendo Vargas indicated that “efforts must be made to ensure that the beaches and / or spas have an adequate number of trash cans that are accessible to visitors. It is important that said recipients garbage are kept in proper conditions without excessive accumulations of waste, “he explained.

The other agencies mentioned echoed the expressions of Health. “We understand that, at this historical moment, establishing a prohibitionThe absolute use of disposable masks and gloves on the beaches, spas and bodies of water in Puerto Rico is primarily a matter of public health, ”they stated.

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