Friday 28 February, 2020

Tribe goes Styrofoam-free for Carnival 2019

Tribe Carnival and its affiliates have announced that they plan to go Styrofoam-free for Carnival 2019 as they collaborate with local company Hello Green, as well as SWMCOL.

On Wednesday, the band announced that all lunches on Carnival Monday and Tuesday will be served in 100% compostable packaging by Vegware and will also be collected by SWMCOL for composting thereafter. Additionally, the band is replacing all Styrofoam cups on the road that are used for serving ‘spiked snow cones’, with eco-friendly paper cups. This decision eliminates over 25,000 Styrofoam containers and cups (approximately 1,437 kgs of waste) entering landfill from these two days alone.

Styrofoam is extremely difficult to recycle, non-biodegradable, and has been associated with health concerns globally. While concerns were raised by the various caterers about the durability and functionality of the compostable containers, fears were put to rest after rigorous testing was completed. One well-known caterer and industry leader, Dean Johnson of Food Etcetera Ltd., stated, “In our opinion, this Hello Green/Vegware container is certainly suitable for the - Packing, Hot Holding, Transportation and Distribution of Hot Meals for Carnival Monday & Tuesday.”

Tribe Carnival is making a proactive and conscious effort to use compostable packaging even without an enacted legislation on a ban on Styrofoam products. As the largest band for Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, these efforts would have a significant effect as well as raise awareness about environmental preservation.

Many other Caribbean islands have banned the use of Styrofoam, some have also banned single-use plastics such as cutlery, straws and cups. Tribe Carnival said it plans to continue its efforts to be more environmentally responsible and aim for minimizing its carbon footprint as much as possible.

Meanwhile, SWMCOL CEO Ronald Roach added, “Our Carnival celebrations had its origins in recycling and re-use of materials. Over the years, the use of disposable products has led to significant quantities of waste being generated during the revelry. SWMCOL is happy to be a part of the efforts at resource conservation through this compostable program with TRIBE and Hello Green. It is our hope that this can eventually lead to a sustainable carnival celebration.”

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