Eight Caribbean countries ban polystyrene

The ban began on 1 January and affects products highly polluting and that take some 400 to 500 years in degrading, not even disappearing.

Jamaica, Belize, Bahamas, Barbados, Costa Rica, Granada and Trinidad y Tobago have banned the import of single-use plastic boxes and polystyrene, materials deriving from oil refinement.

The ban began on 1 January and affects products highly polluting and that take some 400 centuries in getting eliminated. These materials have become a real threat which is even bigger in holiday and mass tourist places.

The Caribbean region goes from the Florida peninsula to the mouth of the river Orinoco, and includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast of Central America. A wide region of breathtaking beauty and diversity rich at the same time of natural resources.

The effects of climate change is affecting in a special way this region of the world through the increase in strength and intensity of the hurricanes and the rising of sea level. In addition there is a growing directed pollution produced by human beings in which the star role is played by plastic that, for example in Jamaica represents already 50% of the produced rubbish.

The decision of this group of countries, islands or with a long coastline, which share the Caribbean Sea as richness and common natural border, follows that taken in 2012 by Haiti, in 2016 by Antigua y Barbudas and last year by Aruba, Colombia, Guayana, Puerto Rico, San Vicente y Las Granadnas, Islas Turcas and Caicos.

This positive news will no doubt help the countries that have taken the decision, however it is important to underline that to really fight pollution and its serious effects, other countries in the region - such as the US, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republican, Venezuela, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama - should make similar steps forward.