As of Sept. 1, Styrofoam and single-use plastics have been barred from being imported into Grenada. It is the first step in a phased approach to eradicating the polystyrene food and beverage container to comply with the Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act, which was passed earlier this year in both houses of Parliament.
The second phase includes a ban on the sale of Styrofoam, which will go into effect on Mar. 1, 2019, according to Caribbean 360. The third phase goes into effect in April 2019 with a ban on the sale of food in or with these products.
The government said the measure means to eliminate Styrofoam across Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
“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,” said Senator Simon Stiell, Minister for Climate Resilience and the Environment.
He informed that the government consulted with importers and other stakeholders prior to instituting the ban and that it was more than encouraging to know that "many restaurants and many stores have already transitioned to alternative products, and the stated timelines are agreed upon by both importers and Government.”
The lawmaker went on to affirm that the government is committed to collaborating with stakeholders to guarantee that the transition, as well as the economic impact of the Styrofoam ban and single-use plastics, goes smoothly.
Trace amounts of polystyrene, which is used in the production of Styrofoam products, and other toxic additives seep into food and drinks that come into contact with Styrofoam.
Also, polystyrene, a contributor to air and water pollution, takes approximately 500 years to decompose in nature. Before doing so, the particles are often consumed by marine and land animals, which may cause blockage to their digestive system, choking, or death, according to Naturally Savvy.