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T&T bans Styrofoam importation come January 1

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has announced a ban on the importation of Styrofoam for use in the food industry come the New Year.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has announced a ban on the importation of Styrofoam for use in the food industry come the New Year.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert, said the measure is the first step in the Administration’s quest to ultimately ban the use of Styrofoam and single-use plastics.

Styrofoam ban becomes effective January 1, 2020. (Photo: Shutterstock)

“In our pursuit to attain our stated goal of placing the environment at the centre of national development, I propose to eliminate the use of Styrofoam and single-use plastics within the national economy”, Imbert said while delivering the 2020 budget in the House of Representatives on Monday, October 7.

Additionally, the proposed changes will also require manufacturers of food containers to introduce additives which make their products biodegradable.

“In order to encourage behavioural change, I propose to terminate the use of plastic water bottles in Government offices and substitute them with coolers with filters. This measure will take effect on January 1, 2020,” Imbert said.

The announcement follows that of Jamaica which saw that nation’s Government ban single use plastic bags, straws and polystyrene earlier this year; a move which covered the importation, manufacturing and distribution of the materials.