Saint Lucia will ban the importation of foam and plastic food service containers as of June 1, 2019.

This was announced by the Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Dr. Gale TC Rigobert, via a statement on the control of environmental pollutants.

The minister stated that studies have shown that food service containers made from polystyrene and plastics negatively affect our health and environment.

“The Department of Sustainable Development in partnership with other key agencies such as the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority and the Customs and Excise Department have, over the last months, worked toward the development of a suitable strategy to eliminate single use plastics, polystyrene and expanded polystyrene from our market and environment,” Dr. Rigobert said.

“In-keeping with a decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, Saint Lucia will be implementing a ban on the importation of Styrofoam and selected plastic food service containers as of June 1. Any such food service containers landed after May 31, 2019 will not be released by the Customs and Excise Department.”

“These items will be phased out over a one-year period commencing June 1, 2019, until May 31, 2020. This approach will allow all stakeholders a chance to exhaust their current stock of Styrofoam and selected plastic food service containers, and to source environmentally friendly alternatives.”

The ban will be implemented in two phases, and will become effective immediately on June 1, 2020.

The Government of Saint Lucia prioritizes safeguarding public health and the natural environment of the island.