Members of the public are reminded that with effect from Monday, July 1, no person shall distribute, offer for sale, sell or use single use plastic containers, or single use plastic cutlery.
Single use plastic containers are referred to items made of plastic or polystyrene, and include cups, food containers, straws, stirrers or egg trays used in the culinary retail industry.
However, a number of items will be exempt from that list. These include plastic bags designed for, packaged and retailed specifically for the disposal of waste from households, public spaces, business places, offices and industrial plants. This includes garbage bags.
Other exempt items are plastic bags or polystyrene containers or items for pharmaceutical dispensing or any other medical use; those designed for the storage of agricultural products; those manufactured in Barbados for export purposes; plastic bags for the preservation of food; plastic straws attached to tetra boxes, and trays made of polystyrene used for the packaging of fresh meat.
Officials at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy are urging persons to comply with the ban, as they can be convicted under the Control of Disposable Plastics Act, 2019.
Under this Act, the importation of single-use petroleum-based plastics was banned in Barbados with effect from April 1. And, from Monday, July 1, the distribution, offering for sale, sale or use of disposal plastic containers or plastic cutlery will be prohibited.
Persons found guilty of not adhering to the ban may be fined a maximum of $50, 000, or imprisonment for one year, or both.
For cases where the offence continues to be committed, persons may be fined a further $1,000 for each day or part thereof during which the offence continues.