Plastic Ban Continues With Several More Countries In The Caribbean

in #steemleo2 years ago (edited)

A variety of regions have launched bans on plastic bags including China, Italy, certain regions in the United States, areas around Africa, and elsewhere.

Dozens of countries have been looking to aggressively regulate plastic bags and other similar items out of existence to a certain extent and that includes a number of countries now in the Caribbean, 7 more join the cause this year, pushing further restrictions.

Single-use plastics and polystyrene are expected to be banned starting Jan in at least 7 countries around the Caribbean.

Those regions include Belize, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, Grenada, and Jamaica.

Starting this year the Government of Jamaica launched their ban on the local distribution, manufacture, and use of polystyrene foam (also known as Styrofoam) for products that are sold in the food and beverage market. They already moved to ban plastic bags and straws awhile back.

Jamaica has been known to have one of the highest per capita uses of plastic bags of any country in the world; the average person is said to contribute at least 500 bags per year.

Overall, they are looking to reduce waste on the island. They say that so far the response has been mostly positive, even from parliamentary opposition to those who were initially behind it from the beginning.

The tourism industry, such as the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, has also expressed support for the ban. But it has caused some confusion with the people living there, leaving them to wonder what they might use as a container for their waste and for that reason garbage bags have allegedly been left out of the ban for now.

As well, some other single-use plastic bags also won't be considered such as those bags which are used for packaging raw meat or sugar, flour, and other food items.

In Jamaica they have been working for years now to try and restore the coral reefs in the region and those behind the initiative claim that their efforts have been working and that new life is coming back to the ocean in the region. Some think that the new plastic bag ban and Styrofoam crackdown is going to ultimately help to reduce a great deal of the garbage that is cluttering the ocean in the region.

Aside from plastic bags that will be caught up under the plastic ban, other items like straws and cups are also being targeted.

Many individuals have been pushing for this move and showing support for the ban, with some regions in the Caribbean still lagging behind on showing interest in any sort of plastic ban yet. Already, Jamaica is ahead of the curve in that the country has moved to ban a variety of single-use plastic items and now more recently the Styrofoam products.

They've already fined more than 40 businesses.

They expect everyone to comply and for those who aren't ready yet or unwilling, dozens have already been punished and fined. The maximum fine allowed to be issued under the Trade Act is $2 million, and under the NRCA is $50k. As well, fines can carry jail time too, up to 2 years behind bars.

Wanting to protect the environment or reduce waste is fine and admirable, when done so voluntarily, but making criminals out of those who disobey these sorts of edicts seems a bit much. Perhaps using this level of violence to try and address the issue of garbage is not the only way to approach the problem or even the best way to attempt addressing it.

Though the Styrofoam is supposedly to be banned now, local importers and manufacturers will allegedly be able to apply for limited exemptions for the next year.


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I was really impressed to learn that Jamaica has already done a lot of work around banning plastic. There are alternatives for pretty much everything (in the UK we're seeing increasing use of paper and cellphane products and packaging made from potato starch). Great article, thank you.

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That is so wonderful to hear. I love Jamaica and am so happy to hear they are leading in plastic control. This January, our largest grocery chain Wegmans has banned all use of single plastic bags. It is a beginning here in western NY. We will now use cloth bags to package our goods in. We are finally moving in a better direction.

Mari sama-sama kita jaga kelestarian laut

It has to start somewhere and we need to change the way we dispose of plastic.
Still valid in the US to some extend.
Lately they preach about sorting trash.
Good info!

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