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Ban on the importation of Styrofoam and Plastic material has taken effect!

by: - January 7, 2019
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The ban on the importation of Styrofoam and plastic materials has taken effect on January 1st 2019.

In keeping with the vision of Dominica to become the World’s first climate resilient nation, the Government of Dominica has taken a decision to ban single use plastics and Styrofoam used in the food service industry.

The  first  phase  of  this  process  is  the ban  on  importation of  the  following  non- biodegradable   single use   plastics (Lids,   Cups,  Single   Use   Styrofoam/Plastic Containers, Disposable Plastic Cutlery, and Drinking Straws) has taken effect from January 1, 2019 at all ports of entry.

From December 2018, importers have been able to benefit from the application of 0% duty on the importation authenticated biodegradable products (Lids, Cups, Single Use Containers,  Cutlery,  and  Drinking  Straws) and  0%  duty  on  the  importation  of reusable shopping bags.

The Dominica Bureau of Standards is the agency responsible for verifying and approving imports of biodegradable products. The Bureau has   advised importers that   a certification of authenticity must  be  provided  by  the  supplier  of  the  products.  This certificate   should   indicate   the   composition   of   the   products   and   the   rate   of decomposition.

To assist the private sector and the general public with the transition, a six (6) month phase out period for the distribution and use of non-biodegradable products is currently in  place  for  products  imported  prior  to  January  1,  2019.This  will  allow  importers, retailers, and service providers in the food service industry to use up available stock on the island while  they  source  alternatives.

Some of  these  alternatives  include items composed of paper and other natural fibers such as corn starch, bamboo, and bagasse most of which are already available from the main importers and retailers on island. Public Consultations  have  been  ongoing,  the  first  of these was held  with  the  main importers  to  provide  clarity  to  the implementation of  the  ban  and  the  process  for importation.

Consultations with the food service industry are ongoing and will be done across the  island  to  ensure  that  the  information  is disseminated to  all  stakeholders during the phase out period.

The  Ministry  of  Environment,  Climate  Resilience,  Disaster  Management  and  Urban Renewal has  partnered  with  the  Ministry  of  Tourism  and  Culture along  with  other partners for  a  media campaign that  includes print, video and  audio Ads including  a jingle by  rising  female  vocalist and  member  of  the  Signal  Band, Starsha.

The  media campaign  will  continue  to  focus  on reducing  plastic  use  and  waste  management  to maintain our pristine and natural environment.