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TTC Special: Caribbean Islands unite against plastic

TTC Special: Caribbean Islands unite against plastic

Photo: Sawitree Pamee

TTC Service.- A group of Caribbean islands that live on tourism have agreed on an environmental issue: They agree about discarded plastics that float in the Caribbean Sea are extremely polluting.

Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas have just jointly announced that since January 1, 2020 the importation and use of single-use plastics and polystyrene will be prohibited.

With the measure they seek to stop the polystyrene sea expansion that cause what scientists call a degradation of the coasts in whose vicinity live 40 million people.

The figures on the wandering plastic are eloquent. There are five billion bags of that material that are manufactured as oil waste all over the planet that will exist even hundreds of years before disappearing.

Another bad news is that the Caribbean is at the top of the global list of plastic use per inhabitant on the planet. In the regional list, the islands that have that dubious honor are Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Granada, Anguilla and Aruba and others.

Another fact is that more than 300,000 tons of plastic waste in the Caribbean are not collected every year because they are thrown into waterways or land, according to World Bank data.

Despite the serious danger it causes, plastic has achieved success: uniting a number of Caribbean countries in defense of the environment.

We must recognize that the region faces increasing obstacles to its development, such as climate change.

Last March, the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) decided to develop an action plan on this unwanted change.

The Caribbean is just one of the many places in the world threatened by this global phenomenon, especially the rise in sea level.