Saint Lucia to ban the use of Styrofoam and plastic food service containers

Styrofoam cup. Image: Alan Antiporda
Solid waste

Another Caribbean country has announced measures to phase out and ultimately prohibit single-use Styrofoam and plastics. From the St. Lucia Times:

Saint Lucia plans to  phase-out  Styrofoam food service containers and plastics, both plates and cups, beginning December 1, 2018, with a total ban on their importation before the end of next year.

The announcement came in a statement from Minister of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Doctor Gale Rigobert.

Rigobert said the Government of Saint Lucia is cognizant of the negative impact on the environment and human health from food service containers made from Polystyrene and Expanded Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, along with Plastics.

However, she observed that the administration recognises that the healthier alternative to these products, such as biodegradable and compostable food service containers, are more costly.

“We are doing our very best to alleviate this issue,” the minister explained.

She disclosed that over the last few months, the Department of Sustainable Development, in partnership with other key agencies such as the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority, the Department of Finance, the Ministry of Commerce and the Customs and Excise Department, has been working towards the development of a strategy to eliminate single use plastics, polystyrene and expanded polystyrene from the Saint Lucia market.

“To date, we have completed fiscal analyses, conducted a survey of the key suppliers of these products and we have also identified suppliers of the biodegradable and compostable food service containers, all this to ensure that Saint Lucia creates the enabling environment to facilitate this process,” Rigobert stated.

She explained that in light of this, the Department of Sustainable Development will be taking a phased approach to facilitate a smooth transition for all stakeholders.

“The phase-out, along with a ban on the importation of Styrofoam food service containers, and plastics, both plates and cups, will commence December 1, 2018 with a total ban culminating by November 30, 2019.”

Read more in the full St. Lucia Times report

Previously on Green Antilles: Dominica to ban plastics and Styrofoam by January 2019 and Trinidad and Tobago to ban Styrofoam with effect from 2019

[Image: Alan Antirporda]

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