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7 Caribbean countries to ban plastic in 2020

Caribbean countries

Seven Caribbean countries will introduce some form of single-use plastic and polystyrene ban in the New Year, but the Cayman Islands is not one of them. Although government here has been hinting that it is thinking about imposing some form of restriction, plastic use is currently entirely unrestricted, even though the Caribbean region is now ranked as one of the worst plastic polluted areas of the world.

The main objective of the various bans in the regions is to address ocean pollution and the degradation of this region’s marine habitat.

Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago, which alone produces 1.5kgs of plastic waste per person per day, the highest in the world, will no longer import or allow single-use plastics and polystyrene.

Although the ban is limited to certain products in most of the jurisdictions, such plastic bags, straws, cups, takeout containers or drink bottles, it is a step in the right direction that Cayman has yet to even begin considering. There has been demonstrable support here for a ban, with activists and students having campaigned for most of 2019 for government to act. However, so far the government has made no commitments to any kind of ban.

While local restaurants and bars and several stores have joined forces with activists and voluntarily stopped offering plastic bags, introduced alternatives to Styrofoam containers, cups and straws, government seems in no hurry to make any imposition on the business community that it may find inconvenient.

Earlier in December the ministry cancelled yet another meeting of its own plastic pollution steering committee, which has met only once since it was created earlier in the year.


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