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.