Grenada is joining a number of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that have in the recent past announced plans to ban the use of Styrofoam.
The Keith Mitchell administration has given September one as the deadline for a ban on the importation of the product as the initial step in a phased approach to the eradication of Styrofoam and reduction of single-use plastics, in keeping with the Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act which was passed in Parliament this year.
It said the second phase will be a ban on the sale of Styrofoam in the trio-island state, effective March 1 next year and by April 1st, 2019, prohibiting the sale and offer for sale of food in or with these products.
Ultimately, there should be “zeros Styrofoam across Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique,” Climate Resilience and the Environment Minister, Simon Stiell said.
Speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting, Stiell said that the ban is not being instituted arbitrarily, but in consultation with importers and other stakeholders.
“Over the period, starting from September, the importation ban will prohibit more Styrofoam from being imported into the country; we have been discussing with importers what product they have coming into the country, what they have on order and what they have in inventory.”
The Environment Minister said it is encouraging to note that “many restaurants and many stores have already transitioned to alternative products, and the stated timelines are agreed upon by both importers and government.”
He said the government is committed to working together with stakeholders to ensure that the transition and economic impact of the ban on Styrofoam and specified single-use plastics are as seamless as possible.
Stiell describes the Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act as “progressive legislation” which seeks to regulate the use of non-biodegradable products, with a view to reducing the negative environmental impacts and improving the health of Grenadians.
The legislation also places a ban on single-use handled shopping bags.
The importation ban on these bags as well as other single-use plastics, such as cutlery, plates, and cups, will come into effect on February 1 next year.