The Permanent Secretary and a team from the Planning and Development Ministry met with officials of the food and beverage container industry, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce to engage in the consultation.
A decision was taken to form a working committee comprising Government Ministries and private sector stakeholders to chart a path forward that will be beneficial to all.
The Planning and Development Ministry says this ban is not a unilateral stance by the Government, adding that the consultation process facilitates the exploration of partnerships with the public and private sector as well as academia. It further notes that there is also the opportunity for innovation within the sector in light of the global shift away from Styrofoam products.
Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis acknowledged the existence of bans on Styrofoam products in some Caribbean islands and other countries around the world but stresses the importance this Government places on ensuring the considerations of all citizens’ concerns in decision making. Minister Robinson-Regis reiterates that the Ministry is in support of the ban but wants to follow a process in accomplishing this.
“The Ministry is aware that legislation is also an important factor, and in this regard, the Environmental Policy and Planning Division of the Ministry of Planning and Development is exploring the legislative implications of such. The Waste Recycling Legislation, which addresses the treatment of all waste including plastics, is presently receiving the attention of the Cabinet.”
Earlier this month a petition to ban Styrofoam containers was launched by Anika Mohammed. This was done in an effort to decrease pollution on the twin island as Mohammed said Styrofoam is dangerous to humans, animals and the environment. So far it has garnered over 2500 signatures.