7 Caribbean Countries Ban Single-Use Plastics Starting New Year’s Day

December 31, 2019 at 2:07 pm

The Caribbean Sea is going to be a whole lot cleaner starting in 2020

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to take a Caribbean cruise, you’re in luck.

Starting tomorrow it will be illegal to produce, import or distribute most common single-use plastics, including polystyrene (Styrofoam), in seven Caribbean countries:

Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas

That goal is to restore the crystal blue water the island vacation destinations became famous for.

Unfortunately they haven’t lived up to that reputation for the last several years, as the Caribbean has been highlighted as one of the most polluted regions in the world.

Of the world’s thirty largest per capita plastic polluters, ten are in the Caribbean region, the Yucatan Times reports.

Trinidad and Tobago produces over 3 pounds of plastic waste per person per day, the highest in the world.

About a quarter of that ends up on that country’s coasts because of inadequate waste treatment programs.

More than 300,000 tons of plastic waste go uncollected in the Caribbean each year, meaning much of it is dumped into the ocean.

The current rate of plastic pollution in the Bahamas could cost the country $10 million a year in lost tourism, the government estimates.

On top of that, the degraded marine habitat contributes to food insecurity for the 40 million people living on Caribbean coastlines.