The banning of plastics in cities and by companies across the world has been dominating the news in 2018, and now a new country is entering the group. The Caribbean island of Dominica recently announced that they would begin to ban plastics and styrofoam in early 2019.
This is significant because they are the first island nation to announce a full ban on common plastics and single-use styrofoam, instead of just plastic straws. Starbucks recently made headlines by announcing a ban on plastic straws within a two year time period, and several other major companies, like Disney, have followed suit. Dominica is unique because they are also banning single-use styrofoam cups and food containers, which is rather groundbreaking as far as marine conservation goes.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced in June that this ban would be put into effect to preserve the natural beauty of the island, and help eliminate the amount of waste being added to the surrounding areas. Being a small island in the Caribbean, Dominica has trouble with solid waste management, as it cannot be dumped into the sea and disposing of large amounts of trash off the island can be difficult to achieve.
Dominica also announced the ban with a larger goal in mind. The country is aiming to become the first climate resilient nation, due to the increasing amounts of severe weather and damage sustained by the island each year. Dominica is still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Maria, nearly one year later.
The ban is also not limited to common plastics and single-use styrofoam. Although the final items included in the ban have not to be officially confirmed, it is believed that the common plastics will include plastic straws, knives, plates, straws, styrofoam cups and styrofoam containers for food. The ban will go into full effect in January 2019, to give businesses time to adjust to the changes.