Committee to mull plastic ban

| 21/07/2019 | 82 Comments
Cayman News Service
Plastic is killing marine creatures

(CNS): Government has put the question of whether or not the Cayman Islands should ban single-use plastics into the hands of a committee, but based on the response to a parliamentary question, the decision appears to be a long way off. Answering a question in writing which had been asked in the Legislative Assembly by MLA Kenneth Bryan (GTC) about plans for making Cayman plastic free, Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour said he and Commerce Minister Joey Hew had set up a committee to help develop a policy on single-use plastics.

Despite the urgency and warnings about how badly plastics are contaminating the sea and shorelines in the region and the extreme negative impact it could have on Caribbean economies, Seymour is asking the committee to first consider the validity of the concerns raised.

He is suggesting that there should then be a period of more than three months for public input about the harm of single-use plastics before the committee considers a way to cut the negative impact on the environment and human health. Only then would the committee develop a national policy, review legislation that would impact or be impacted by it, and examine the effect of a new policy on international treaties, conventions or obligations.

Finally, he is suggesting that the committee be required to submit a report to Cabinet within 30 days of the conclusion of the public consultation period. The minister said that this stakeholder steering committee, which he and Hew will co-chair, will consist of representatives from various government departments, industry associations, environmental organisations and businesses, including distributors, grocers and small food services, as well as a youth parliamentarian representative.

Meanwhile, plastic continues to pile up on local beaches and only a tiny percentage of the plastic used here is recycled. Despite being one of the smaller countries in the Caribbean, a significant amount of plastic is used in the Cayman Islands, although some retailers here no longer offer plastic shopping bags, while others have replaced plastic food containers, cutlery and cups with more eco-friendly alternatives.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Policy, Politics, Science & Nature

Comments (82)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    You never understand why you confabulate. There, fixed it for you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We need to talk about the Dart corporation.

    7
    5
  3. Caymanian recycles says:

    The rest of the world has started it, why not us? It will be hard to adjust for certain businesses, as you may find some items will have to go up in cost, unless government reduce the duty fees on recyclable containers, cups, straws etc (little example of products)

    This issue need to be addressed ASAP.

    Now let’s also work on the dump and the recycling facility in Bodden Town. All garbage should be separated to plastic, tin, papers and food.

    20
    3
  4. Bertie : B says:

    Grow Hemp , make bags , clothes , rope .

    19
    3
  5. Anonymous says:

    A good way to look at this is, at least while they work on this ridiculous agenda, they won’t be trying to work on important things that actually matter like economics policies, healthcare and development.

    5
    10
    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like everything is more important to you than the actual survival of your world. You have the true vision of a politician, or an addict of some sort. Preach bro.

      4
      1
  6. Anonymous says:

    Reducing consumer demand for single use is something we can all try in our households, and recycling of type 1 or 2 plastic at bars, hotels and restaurants is something that could be mandated immediately, but a wholesale knee-jerk ban on all plastic is unworkable. Unless there is a collective global effort involving G20 governments, fundamental upstream market/consumer changes, and creations of convenient price-competitive alternatives that we can import – some of which don’t yet exist – the rules that restrict behavior of just the privileged few willing to follow them, will always lead to depletion of the commons. If there are people that haven’t thought that far ahead in their heads, or don’t understand how the flow of goods works on an island, and are still advancing this to a policy-shaping Committee, then it will only serves to demonstrate the unsettling mental handicaps of current waste mgmt leadership.

    12
    1
  7. Anonymous says:

    If you don’t want to use plastic then don’t. If you could prove it does more harm than good, have at it and educate the public and convince them.
    Otherwise, stop trying to control everyone and everything based on emotion.

    7
    24
  8. Anonymous says:

    Ban it yes!! We are poisoning this planet for the sake of convenience and laziness.

    Think of the children! They are inheriting a shit hole planet!

    38
    5
    • Anonymous says:

      I hope this article is a jok e

      everything we touch is single use plastics?

      does laundry detergent come in glass now?

      cookies – plastic

      paper towels – in plastic.

      14
      16
      • Anonymous says:

        What do you suggest?

        6
        1
        • Anonymous says:

          Ask the poor dumb ministers, who wouldn’t understand what has been suggested. Stop styrofoam! That would be attacking Mr. Whoart.

          6
          4
      • Anonymous says:

        Package everything in biodegradable materials! It’s not rocket science! The production of plastics needs to be tightly regulated! And items should only be granted permission to be produced in plastic where there are no other options and are absolutely necessary i.e. medical supplies.

        Cheap toys that break in a week should also be banned from production. there is so much waste! We need a global regulating body to approve what can and cannot be produced using plastic materials. Something has to be done and it has to be done NOW! It is critical that this happens immediately!

        19
        5
    • Anonymous says:

      All of our garbage goes into single use plastic garbage bags. Dog shit…plastic bags. Frozen foods…plastic. Until there is some kind of rational alternative for bio waste, and garbage collection, that can be affordably deployed worldwide, and doesn’t involve cholera, the grownups shouldn’t waste time mulling an international problem without clean alternative. Cayman doesn’t have the mental power, cachet, or geofootprint to pioneer the, as yet unknown, workable solution for the planet’s garbage problems.

      12
      2
    • Anonymous says:

      Its the same planet I inherited in the 80’s only with more trash. Plastic too :).

  9. Anonymous says:

    That’s wonderful! Now we can make sure that .00000000000001% of the plastic we see in water can’t possibly come from Cayman.

    BTW I have never seen the GT dump emptying their plastic garbage in the ocean. Not once. So we must be banning plastic straws and plastic because SOMEONE is dumping them in the ocean right?

    We must be dumping ton of plastic, otherwise it would be MORONIC to ban an activity that isn’t happening. But then again, we have some real light bulbs in government.

    Also, could please provide a list of the types of plastic you will be banning? Because in the ocean, there are plastics floating around made from hospital materials like syringes all the way down to plastic from automotive parts. Or are we saying only plastic straws and bags area problem? Or will we be banning hospital materials and cars too?

    17
    13
  10. Anonymous says:

    “A study commissioned by the United Kingdom Environment Agency in 2005 found that the average cotton bag is used only 51 times before being thrown away. In some cases, reusable bags need to be used over 100 times before they are better for the environment than single-use plastic bags.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reusable_shopping_bag (PS> use your reusable bags anyway. They’re probably better for the environment and a good attempt is better than the known failure of single-use shopping bags.)

    Its not as simple as it sounds. Especially for somewhere that imports whichever bag is being used and then puts it in our dump so we need to factor energy (production & shipping) as well as disposal (space) ‘environmental costs’ into what’s the right approach for Cayman. – Its why the grocery stores switched to ‘fast degrading’ bags a while ago when the push first started to replace them with carrier bags locally. In fact for Cayman, just talking about shopping bags, limited re-use paper bags that can go into the compost may be best. (Or some nice expensive local thatch baskets.)

    And that’s before we even try to define what a ‘single use’ plastic is and how we ban it from things that are imported pre-packaged. But we wouldn’t want to confuse people’s anti-committee rhetoric with facts.

    14
    1
  11. Johnny Rotten says:

    I see, they’re going to mull over it while eating their turtle dinners and drinking their sodas out of Dart containers. Their decision on the issue, or should I say indecision, will be quickly forgotten when this article is relegated to the next page.

    CNS, what about critical items being a “sticky” on the first page, or maybe even a “sticky page” like CNS Local Life but much hotter?

    CNS: We can “sticky” articles but sadly there is too much going on to sticky all of them. However, we will follow the progress of this committee and bring you any updates.

    14
    3
  12. Ron Ebanks says:

    Some people said these Countries did it , why can’t Cayman do it , Cayman is not run by the same politians and the people that run them .

    9
    2
  13. Ban single-use plastics says:

    Lord help us all …. Another committee. Surely something this simple doesn’t need all of that. It’s an easy decision to make, and a very easy policy to implement.

    34
    7
    • Ron Ebanks says:

      They should also consider banning strofoam too that is causing big problems in the world today .

      16
      6
      • Anonymous says:

        What is this secret new invention of which you speak?

        8
        1
        • Anonymous says:

          Non-recyclable Styrofoam trays can be easily replaced with fully bio-degradable (and mulch-able) vegetable-based alternatives or even recyclable type 1 or 2 plastic. Smoothie King doesn’t need to insulate frozen milkshakes for an end-user lifespan of 5-10 mins.

          8
          3
      • Anonymous says:

        I would say that’s a dealbreaker here considering Who has their hand in everybody’s pants.

        9
        1
  14. Anonymous says:

    Poaching is a far greater threat to marine life in Cayman waters than plastic will ever be.

    11
    24
  15. Anonymous says:

    Prohibition never works.

    8
    15
  16. Anonymous says:

    “…consider the validity of the concerns raised.” This is C R A Z Y!!!!!!

    20
    2
  17. Anonymous says:

    Start with banning styrofoam, oh wait, uncle Dart !!!

    35
    6
  18. Anonymous says:

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzz jon-jon….the rubbish minister.

    26
    2
  19. Anonymous says:

    No need to BAN such items. Simply triple the duty on them and the usage will cease.

    29
    6
  20. Anonymous says:

    Jamaica’s done it. Why can’t Cayman?

    37
    4
  21. Anonymous says:

    wow…seymour trying to re-inven the wheel…
    a cayman commitee is not going to come up with a different answer that is already being introduced in the civilised world.
    another day in wonderland…..

    35
    3
  22. Anonymous says:

    Don’t disagree with reducing single-use plastics but Cayman residents cannot primarily blamed for all the plastics on our beaches. Take an inventory of this stuff sometime and you will see a fair amount is coming from our neighbors.

    24
    5
    • Anonymous says:

      and cruise ships..

      29
      3
    • Beach Cleaner says:

      How about all the plastic water bottles thrown on the side of the road – can’t blame that on our “neighbors”. Maybe we could start with walkers/runners being a little more conscious of how they contribute to the plastic waste on the island.

      18
      3
      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not walkers,runners,cyclists littering the roadsides , I’ve seen motorists primarily the cause, tossing bottles out the window , fast food wrappers and supermarket lunch containers. But this is a cultural thing, one must understand .

        27
        2
        • Anonymous says:

          The tossing of garbage is part of our cultural heritage.

          17
          8
        • Anonymous says:

          I just did a clean-up of my dead end road, where neither NiCE workers, or any runners or cyclists ever come and litter. Its the lazy motorists that frequent the drive-throughs fill their pie holes with junk food and are to lazy and likely fat to get out their vehicle to thrown their containers away responsibly.

          14
          • Beach Cleaner says:

            I am not saying there are not other swine out there pitching Lord knows what into the bushes and onto the sides of the roads but I can assure you as someone who picks up litter weekly, a LOT of it is plastic water bottles – there are many walkers in my area and most of them carry the single use plastic bottles … ask me how I know!

            8
            1
  23. Elvis says:

    Everything u buy now contains plastic basically, each time I shop and use my milk and throw out the plastic bottle I wonder if anything else could be done, plastic is everywhere basically. It’s not a cayman thing it’s worldwide , the quicker and more we change from this handy but distructive material the better

    27
    1
    • Anon says:

      Buy milk in cardboard cartons instead!

      6
      2
    • Anonymous says:

      Where I come from we get milk delivered in bottles from the dairy farm and then the milk man takes back the empties and they clean them and fill them up and deliver again. Of course, there isn’t a dairy farm here. I can think of about a million reasons why that is a good thing. You can recycle your milk cartons here, or buy the cardboard ones? Or even better, why the crap are humans drinking another animals milk past when we are babies?

      9
      3
  24. Anonymous says:

    Is this just a straight yes or no question? Set up a committee,!!! give me strength

    28
    5
  25. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Most of my adult life, I have had either plastic or canvas bags for my groceries. That said, we have to be careful about what we mean when we say “single use plastic”. Do you buy bread? Single use wrapper. Buy meat? Same thing.

    If you buy bottled water, better to buy a Berkey water filter, and filter your tap water and refill a multiple use container. Yes, you’ll pay $350 or so for a Big Berkey. This system has been around since the late 1800’s. A few months of using a Big Berkey will pay for itself, if you’re a bottled water user. They filter down to the virus and bacteria level, along with metals. It’s really good stuff. No, I’m not a seller, just a happy customer.

    https://www.berkeyfilters.com/

    History: http://berkey.curiousfish.org/?page_id=1062

    Hey, we live in a hurricane zone. We should all have these filters. Water is life.

    23
    4
    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks!

      12
    • Anonymous says:

      Hey I grew up in the era of paper bags. We were told that using paper bags destroys all of our forests (anyone else remember the save the trees movement?) . . . so the solution was plastic bags. If we can’t use plastic or paper then what?
      Oh by the way, I live in Europe years ago – seem to remember that everyone had their own canvas type bag when they went to the shoppe – just saying.

      Dwayne Seymour? Set up a committee? Lack of leadership?

      18
      3
      • Anonymous says:

        Oh yeah, totally forgot about that! Well, at least our ideas are evolving. The plastic solution was cheap and an easy fix without being thought out properly or tested.

      • Anonymous says:

        I lived in Ireland for many years where they had pretty much banned plastic bags at the supermarket and used paper bags and the canvas/reusable (some heavy plastic, some canvas) bags. You could get plastic bag in clothes and goods stores though. It did reduce the amount of plastic bags seen down the River LIffey (so I’m told) but I could never understand how paper bags were a good solution for a country where it rains a LOT of the time. Here, this isn’t so much an issue (the rain dissolving paper bags especially as most of us drive which reduces the time the bags are exposed to water when it does rain).

        I agree with your point about the trees – that is my concern also. And interestingly I noticed the other day at Hurleys that the paper bags cost twice as much as paper ones – 10c a bag.

        The only good thing about the paper bags is that they are compostable, but I don’t see why we are moving from plastic to paper considering the source – trees. When you see how many trees are being chopped down in general and not replaced, as damaging as plastic is, I think that paper is not the solution. I wish I could offer some alternative sources for what to do but unfortunately I don’t know what could be used. We have a lot of intelligent people on this island from all over the world, someone would likely have some good ideas if it was put out there for people to suggest alternatives.

    • Anonymous says:

      No need for a Big Berkey or any other expensive water filer. The water produced in Cayman is from reverse osmosis so it contains no heavy metals or contaminants of any kind. Chlorine is added to it, but any cheap charcoal filer will remove that, or if you just pour the water into a container and let it sit overnight on your kitchen counter by morning the smell of chlorine will evaporate.

      7
      2
    • Anonymous says:

      Most just drink city desalinated…are you inferring the pvc water we pay for is not being served as potable?

      3
      1
  26. HJacques says:

    How about a committee to investigate committees? It could be called Committee Rearching Assenine Policicalworks the acronym being ……yes u got it.

    37
    4
  27. Kman says:

    Of course Dart owns Solo and is a big manufacturer of plastic products and also happens to own Cayman so you can see where this is going…nowhere stop nowhere. Sad that the environment has to suffer because of our spineless politicians.

    34
    5
    • SSM345 says:

      I would also bet my left nut that members of DART sit on this committee.

      19
      5
    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmn common sense -if you ban Styrofoam then the people who make the stryofoam most likely would already have a deal in place to be the sole provider of the alternate product.

      7
      3
  28. Anonymous says:

    Funniest part is that you think this would have even the slightest effect on their bottom line. Particulary locally.

    17
    4
  29. Anonymous says:

    Can we just do our part and shut up??

    Then again, in their homes they probably know nothing about recycling and the damage plastics due and what’s really happening to the Earth due to lack thereof.

    23
    4
  30. Anonymous says:

    Careful. Don’t want to insult Dart!

    26
    7

You can comment anonymously. See CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.