Members of the public are reminded that single-use petroleum-based plastics are prohibited for import and use in Barbados under the Control of the Disposable Plastics Act (2020).
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy has warned that anyone who imports such items is in violation of the law, and is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of $100,000, or imprisonment for a term of one year, or both.
In addition, individuals and businesses who manufacture, distribute, or offer for sale any such banned materials are also guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of $100,000, or imprisonment for one year or both.
Petroleum-based plastics pose a hazard to marine life, including fish and turtles, and affect the capacity of fisherfolk to make a living.
In a statement issued today, the Ministry advised that products labelled “biodegradable”, “environmentally friendly”, or which contained similar wording, may still contain petroleum elements.
“Items listed in the Act, [including] straws, bags, cups and plates, clearly stating ‘HDPE’, that is LDPE; PP, and PS or Polystyrene, admit to being petroleum-based plastics and should not be used,” it said.
The statement added that the Ministry was seeking to safeguard the interests of the public by testing products to determine if they complied with the legislation.
The Ministry indicated that it also wished to thank everyone for their assistance in enforcing the Control of Disposable Plastics Act, 2020, and eradicating plastics pollution.