As promised, Jamaica, Dominica, and the Turks and Caicos are taking a stand for nature.
Jamaica, Dominica, and the Turks and Caicos have joined the Caribbean quest to mediate environmental pollution by launching nationwide plastic bans to start the new year.
Preceded by Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the three nations are the most recent additions to a growing global movement.
Bans on the use, sale and production of single-use, non-biodegradable plastics such as straws, utensils, bags and polystyrene foam containers have been adopted by over 60 countries so far.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the policy from his Twitter account Tuesday: "Effective immediately, all stocks of single-use plastic bags of dimension 24"x24" or less and disposable plastic straws should be embargoed by manufacturers, importers and distributors in a manner prescribed by the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority."
Environmentalists hope Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago will implement their own anti-plastic laws. Belize officials promised a similar ban last April, while a tentative January date was originally set for the Trinidadian ban.
Studies show that at least 80 percent of the plastic in our oceans comes from land, while the rest flows from discarded fishing and shipping materials. Every second, at least 400kg of plastic enters the marine ecosystem.
Plastic fibers have been detected in 94 percent of tap water around the globe, Orb Media investigators report. Researchers from the University of Exeter say traces of polycarbonates, specifically the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) used in producing plastic containers, are present in the digestive system of approximately 86 percent of adolescents.
Reports show that some eight million tonnes of plastic are drifting through the world's oceans. This equates to roughly 51 trillion microplastic particles, or more than 500 times the number of stars in our galaxy, and experts warn that figure will increase 40 percent by 2025. By 2050, there will be more 'disposable' items swimming in our oceans than there are fish, researchers say.