Saturday 4 April, 2020

TTMA President: Measures must be put in place for Styrofoam ban

Photo: Styrofoam plates and glass bottles at a local recreation site, courtesy the Wildlife and Environmental Protection of Trinidad and Tobago (WEPTT).

Photo: Styrofoam plates and glass bottles at a local recreation site, courtesy the Wildlife and Environmental Protection of Trinidad and Tobago (WEPTT).

CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Marketing Association (TTMA), Ramesh Ramdeen, said while he is in support of a ban on Styrofoam, measures must be put in place to assist businesses with the transition.

Speaking to LoopTT, Ramdeen said government must allow for business owners to use what is left of their stock.

"There needs to be some kind of collaboration between (government and) the business community that utilises Styrofoam as the main ingredient in their packaging framework.

"The decision was a bit abrupt as manufacturers would have already had all their stockpiling and inventories so I hope that there's some kind of understanding and leniency to allow for a phased approach."

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"We are living in interesting times, we understand what the Minister of Planning and Development (Camille Robinson-Regis) is trying to do with things like Styrofoam and plastics, and I think manufacturers are aware of that, but there needs to be some sort of collaboration so both parties can come together and plan a way forward to phase out that type of packaging and move into another era that speaks to sustainability," he said. 

On July 26, Robinson-Regis said that the importation of Styrofoam products would be banned from January 2019, adding that local styrofoam manufacturers have been given sufficient time to make the adjustments and switch to more environmentally friendly products. 

The decision was made by Cabinet two weeks prior.

Robinson-Regis said that there is a team working with Styrofoam producers to assist with the transition process, however, the impact on local takeaway food prices is not yet known.

Dominica also announced a ban on Styrofoam and plastic dinnerware from 2019, while the product is already banned in Haiti and Guyana.

 

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