St. Lucia will use the month of July to launch initiatives aimed at minimizing the dependence on single-use plastics, including Styrofoam, with the option of applying habits at home and in daily life, and sharing with friends and family.
At the start of the year, the Allen Chastanet government announced plans to phase-out the use of Styrofoam and selected single-use plastic food service containers in the local food service industry.
In August, the authorities placed a ban on the importation of these items as well as a ban on the use, manufacturing, sale and distribution of items.
In support of this, Parliament passed the Styrofoam and Plastic Food Service Containers (Prohibition) Act on June 11.
The authorities said that during the month of July, the Department of Sustainable Development will undertake a number of initiatives dubbed “Plastic Free July”.
The government said this is an international campaign designed to increase awareness of the amount of plastic in our lives by encouraging people to significantly reduce the use of single-use plastics for one month.
“Taking this one notch further, we encourage all government departments to join us in our efforts to minimise the negative impact of our practices, by requesting that a permanent change is made for in-house catering, where Departments must ensure that caterers will provide biodegradable or reusable dishes, cutlery and glasses for meetings”.
Sustainable Development Minister Dr. Gale T. C. Rigobert, said she is pleased with the initiative, noting “reducing our dependence on single use plastics can only put a stop to indiscriminate disposal of plastic waste, which always rears its ugly head when it rains.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to make way for the introduction of creative, innovative alternatives to single-use plastics, using materials found right here in St. Lucia”.