PM: Companies ready to replace Styrofoam with eco-friendly options
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said companies are 'ready' to replace Styrofoam packaging with biodegradable and compostable packaging.
Speaking at at virtual event last Friday (July 24), Dr Rowley, who is Minister of Planning and Development, said he met with companies to discuss to changeover to biodegradable and compostable packaging, and said it's expected that the changeover will happen soon, now that the country is re-opening.
‘I went to Caribbean Packaging…they are ready…because if we’re banning Styrofoam we have to replace it. They are ready with paper containers. Same shape, same utility, but it’s biodegradable. I expect that now that we are back out and operating, they will begin to replace (Styrofoam) with that.’
In 2018, government announced that the importation of Styrofoam products would be banned in 2019.
In September 2019 government said action for finalising the legal framework for the change was in the final stages.
Former Minister of Planning Camille Robinson-Regis said in an update in September 2019 that the Ministry of Attorney General and Legal Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Planning and Development and the Ministry of Finance were in the final stages of developing the legal framework to give effect to the ban on the importation of the finished EPS Products for the Food and Beverage Sector into Trinidad and Tobago.
Several other Caribbean islands have banned styrofoam products:
In April 2016, Guyana banned the importation of Styrofoam products as well, while Haiti also banned the product back in 2012.
In Jamaica legislation proposing the prohibition of Styrofoam products received a positive response after a private member's motion was passed in Parliament in October 2016.
The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) passed a motion to ban the products in 2017, and has begun measures to phase out the use of Styrofoam.