Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago will implement bans on Styrofoam tomorrow, January 1, 2020.
The ban in Jamaica follows an announcement in September 2018, where the Government said the country would no longer allow the material’s importation, manufacturing or distribution.
This ban is the second part of an overall restriction that was placed on expanded polystyrene foam or Styrofoam and plastic straws and single use plastic bags, commonly used for shopping.
The enforcement of the ban on plastic shopping bags and drinking straws was enacted on January 1 this year.
Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago’s ban on the importation of Stryfoam for use in the food industry was announced in October this year by Finance Minister Colm Imbert during his 2020 budget presentation. The measure was proposed to place “the environment at the centre of national development”.
Additionally, Imbert said manufacturers of food containers would also be required to use additives that made their products biodegradable.
The move by both countries follows that of St Vincent and the Grenadines which banned the product in May 2017.
Meanwhile, Jamaica’s lone manufacturer of Styrofoam, Wisynco, has reportedly released some 100 workers from its employ following their decision to shutter the Styrofoam business, which forms a small part of their large manufacturing and distribution Group.
In the lead up to tomorrow’s implementation, several players in the industry had appealed to the Jamaican Government to delay the ban however, Minister with responsibility for the environment, Daryl Vaz, had denied those requests stating that they had received enough time to make the necessary adjustments.
Similar bans have also been introduced or announced by Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda.