Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean, has made a major shift to ensure that its natural environment is protected and preserved for future generations. The Government of Grenada has implemented a far-reaching Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act, which began with the complete ban on the importation of polystyrene commonly referred to as ‘Styrofoam’ effective September 1, 2018.
The importation ban will be followed by sale sanctions on ‘Styrofoam’ effective March 1, 2019 and a complete embargo on its use a month later. The Act will also bar all single-use plastics such as shopping bags, cutlery, plates, straws and cups by February 1, 2019.
Grenada’s Minister for the Environment, Simon Stiell, described the Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act as a “progressive legislation which seeks to regulate the use of non-biodegradable products, with a view to reducing the negative environmental impacts and improving the health of Grenadians.”
Environment America’s Wildlife Over Waste campaign is one of the many environmental campaigns that believe banning Styrofoam needs to occur. According to their campaign, scientists have found plastic fragments including Styrofoam in 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species. When animals ingest Styrofoam it can harm the animal’s health and people as well if the animal makes its way up the food chain.
The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) fully supports this move by the Government. CEO of the GTA, Patricia Maher said, “Our brand is Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean. This legislation will greatly assist us in keeping our tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique clean and beautiful for citizens as well as visitors.”
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen has always championed the ban on ‘Styrofoam’ and plastics. She said, “Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean is renowned for its naturally beautiful landscape. I am elated that my Government has taken action to contribute to the preservation of our environment for future generations.”
The legislation comes on the heels of robust advocacy by the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) and the Grenada Green Group (G3) for a ban on Styrofoam and plastic. Already in Grenada, many hotels, restaurants and stores have transitioned to the use of alternative biodegradable products.