Plastics & Styrofoam Legislative Ban in the Caribbean

ApaNa Magazine December 2019

The Caribbean Sea is the second most plastic-contaminated sea in the world after the Mediterranean Sea. This, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), in a report on the Status of Styrofoam and Plastic Bags in the Wider Caribbean (May 2019) which estimates 600 – 1,414 plastic items per square kilometer in the Caribbean Sea. In an effort to reduce plastic pollution in the region, Caribbean governments have banned the importation of single-use plastic and Styrofoam in their respective countries. Antigua and Barbuda was the first to take action in 2016 with St. Lucia most recently issuing a ban is August 2019. 

Some governments have taken a phased approach with the full ban coming into effect in 2021. While governments have put measures in place to reduce plastic pollution in the Caribbean, it is up to all of us – businesses and individuals – to reduce our consumption of all types of plastic, utilise sustainable alternatives and ensure proper plastic waste disposal. The following info-graphic depicts the status of the ban of single-use plastic and Styrofoam in nine countries namely, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.