By Dana Niland
The island of Grenada has announced a significant new green initiative.
In an effort to ensure that its natural environment is protected and preserved for future generations, the country says it has implemented the new Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act.
The act began with a ban on the importation of Styrofoam, effective September 1, 2018, which will be followed by sale sanctions on the substance effective March 1 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.
“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.,” said CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Patricia Maher.
Grenada’s Minister for the Environment, Simon Stiell called it “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.”
According to Environment America’s Wildlife Over Waste campaign, scientists have found plastic fragments including Styrofoam in 86 percent of all sea turtle species, 44 percent of all seabird species and 43 percent 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.
Already in Grenada, many hotels, restaurants and stores have transitioned to the use of alternative biodegradable products.