(PRESS RELEASE) — During the 2019/2020 budget debate, the Minister for Sustainable Development Hon. Dr. Gale Rigobert announced that Saint Lucia would be taking steps to reduce the country’s dependence on selected single-use plastics, as well as other food service containers made of Polystyrene (PS) and Expanded PS (EPS), also known as Styrofoam.
Following the policy announcement, the Department of Sustainable Development continued working with its key stakeholders. This was to ensure that adequate preparation was made to effect 1) the ban on the importation and 2) the subsequent ban on the use, sale, and manufacture of Styrofoam and selected plastic food service containers. Discussions resulted in an agreement to introduce the respective bans on August 1, 2019, and August 1, 2020, respectively.
This means, that any Styrofoam and selected plastic food service containers arriving in Saint Lucia after July 31, 2019, will not be released by the Department of Customs and Excise. Over a 12-month period, the use of these items will be phased out from August 1, 2019, until July 31, 2020. We encourage stakeholders to complement our efforts and begin sourcing environmentally friendly alternatives.
The Department wishes to assure the public that the government remains committed to working with all stakeholders, in preserving our environment and protecting our health.