Caribbean Island Becomes First Country to Ban Single-Use Plastics

August 15, 2018 at 2:04 pm

A tourist destination known as “Nature Island” passes the most comprehensive single-use plastic ban to date

The Caribbean nation Dominica has been nicknamed “Nature Island” for it’s spectacular rainforests and pristine coastline.

The island’s prime minister just announced the country intends to live up to that name by banning pretty much all single-use plastics by January 2019.

While the full list of items to be banned has yet to be finalized, it already goes farther than any other country, city or company has gone.

So far, banned items include plastic straws and cutlery, and plastic or styrofoam cups and carry-out food containers.

“Dominica prides itself as the ‘Nature Isle,’” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in a statement. “We must in every way deserve and reflect that designation. The issue of solid waste management affects that perception and we continue to grapple with it.”

National Geographic notes that the island is one of the few remaining habitats of the sperm whale. which they’ve caught on video playing with styrofoam carryout boxes.

Dead whales have washed ashore in Thailand and Spain with pounds of plastic piled in their stomachs. Dominica hopes its waters will continue to be a refuge for the majestic animals.

It is estimated that 8 million tons of plastic flow into the world’s oceans every year and that number is expected to triple in a decade if extreme measures aren’t taken to slow it down.

France was the first country in the world to pledge to ban plastic cups and dishes in 2016. That law will take effect in 2020.

The U.K. has proposed banning plastic cotton buds, straws and several other single-use plastics by 2019.

Starbucks, Disneyland, Marriott and Seattle have recently banned plastic straws.

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