Dart container ban in works

| 24/02/2020 | 89 Comments
Cayman News Service
Styrofoam products end up in the water, with devastating effects on marine life

(CNS): A committee set up by government to consider banning single-use plastics is advising that check-out shopping bags, plastic straws, stirrers and cotton swabs, as well as polystyrene take-out containers should all be banned here at the start of 2021. While a growing number of retailers have already switched to more eco-friendly alternatives, much of the Styrofoam that is still used in Cayman is made and imported by the islands’ largest investor, and is a product which made the Dart family multi-millionaires.

But Styrofoam is one of the planet’s worst plastic pollutants. The Single-Use Plastics (SUP) Stakeholder Committee is therefore recommending in its first report to government that it should be on the first list of proposed bans. Plastic bags pose a direct marine threat and plastic straws, stirrers and swabs are significant sources of micro plastics, which are slowly poisoning the fish and entering into the food chain.

According to a release from government, this is just the beginning and the committee is still considering other potential bans. Officials said the committee is recommending that legislation be put in place this year ready to be implemented and start the ban on New Year’s Day 2021, giving retailers plenty of time to switch to greener products.

Officials said that the committee appreciates that banning single-use plastics will impact local businesses and consumers. They will therefore continue to consider the implications of alternatives to single-use plastics within a holistic understanding of Cayman’s economy, society and environment.

In the near future the committee is expected to submit its first report to Cabinet, which also includes advice for a public education campaign on waste reduction.

“The world, including the Cayman Islands, has a real problem with over reliance on single-use plastics,” said Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour, who chairs the committee. “We have to work together on all levels: government, organisations, companies and individuals. We have to be accountable for the islands we intend for future generations to inherit.”

The ministry and the committee said they intend to fight against these harmful products ending up in the environment and also to alleviate the pressure on recycling plants, which cannot on their own solve the massive problem.  

“At this time we are in the research stage,” Seymour said, even though the committee was appointed last summer. “I know local restaurants that have already started to switch to compostable corn straws and many grocery stores now charge for plastic bags. Advocacy groups such as Plastic Free Cayman were also pivotal in bringing this to the national forefront.”

Committee member and Acting Chief Officer of the Ministry of Health Nellie Pouchie said research shows plastics cause so much harm to our environment. 

“Ensuring Caymanians benefit from a healthy environment is one of government’s broad policy outcomes,” she said. “Actions that help us mitigate harmful impacts to the environment, our beloved blue seas, wildlife and ultimately to our people, align us with these goals. The single-use plastic-free movement is on the rise with a proliferation of legislation happening around the world.”

Officials said the formation of the SUP Committee is “aligned with the National Solid Waste Management Policy, which prioritises reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery through an Integrated Solid Waste Management System within the Cayman Islands”.

However, there is still no sign of this plan being implemented and government has done very little to promote any reduction or reuse, and still recycles only a small fraction of the waste generated on islands. This first step towards a ban on these particularly offensive and largely unnecessary products will make a more serious dent in our massive waste-management problems.

Officials also stated that there would be opportunities for public input later in the year and a dedicated email address is being established for members of the public to submit information or comments to the committee.


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Category: Local News, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (89)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey woke people:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=haiti+slums&client=firefox-b-d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjckfbD3-_nAhWyneAKHWbJCVYQ_AUoAnoECA0QBA&biw=2560&bih=1304

    Maybe you should start there?

    Why do things that have meaningful actual results, when you implement things that mean absolutely jack shit in reality, while you can just point you finger, virtue signal and feel good about yourself.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Pictures of Haiti slums? I don’t get it. Is that the correct link? Are you sure you didn’t want to link to photos of the Trump boys slaughtering monkeys and giraffes?

      • Anonymous says:

        Since you seem unable to join the dots, here is a Clue:

        Areas like THESE, is what actually creates the trash that ends up in the ocean.

        Nowhere in Cayman, do the dump trucks empty the containers in the ocean.

        Despite what you are told to believe by the ban-gestapo, Dart does not empty Camana Bay’s trash in the ocean. that’s right Dart does NOT in the middle of the nights empty is garbage containers in the north sound.

        The trash in the ocean is from other countries, so your ban here will mean absolutely jack shit, except make it inconvenient for everyone here and drive costs up. i.e the costly paper bags now back in super markers. Next they will charge you for paper straws and paper containers.

        I guess now its OK to kill trees again by the feel-good gestapo.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Why can’t people use reusable thick harder plastic bags? Why does it have to be paper bags.
          And why the venomous and absurd comments/DEFENSE of Dart polluting the North Sound in the middle of the night?

  2. Anonymous says:

    They should ban all of Dart!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I would imagine that a multi-billion $$ international corporation, as is Dart Container Corp, is already well underway in developing more eco-friendly alternatives to its styrofoam/polystyrene products. I can’t imagine that they have stayed relevant in that industry for 60 years by lagging behind industry trends!

    Meanwhile, as long as any locations in any part of the world, like Cayman, continue to ignore the eco dangers of plastics, Dart Corp will continue to sell those products in such destinations.

    Dart Corp apparently supplies all paper products to Burger King Inc., that alone seems to be an incentive to be on the forefront of researching/implementing alternatives!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    TIMING????? Government announced this 48 HOURS after the Judge ruled AGAINST their crooked referendum bill, 6 days after the Smiths Cove disaster.

    Do you think this would have passed if a certain family was still in the business of ‘restaurant supplies’? NO!

    DON”T BE FOOLED, this is desperation.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    A good start would for Sunset House to stop using hundreds of plastic cups per day to serve drinks in

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m all for banning plastic. But can someone please tell me why the supermarkets are charging for paper bags. I thought the tarrifs charged for a plastic bag was to discourage shoppers to use plastic bags and to force the usage of reusable bags. I think it’s a bit unfair for supermarkets to charge for paper bags.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I stocking up on plastic q-tips from now. The black market is going to be huge.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Yeah. I’ll bet this token proposed ban got Uncle Dart shaking in his boots.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Misleading headline: 5 products to be banned of which 1 is from Dart and you make Dart the headline?

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    • GetUpStandUp says:

      Dart Container Corporation provides Styrofoam globally… indirectly (local retailers/supplier of Styrofoam products purchase from overseas wholesalers/distributors) losing the Cayman market of Styrofoam is equivalent to losing one grain of sand on Seven Mile Beach.

      The only correction this article needs is where reference is made to the amount of money it has made the Dart family… not multi-millionaires, but multi-billionaires.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Perfect article for the virtue signaling folks that never never use plastic….

    A quick bridge to the future is to put your refuse in the garbage can where it belong instead of being a slob and trowing it out your window or leaving it on the beach.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    No need to BAN such items. Simply triple the import duty on any item that we wish to stop being used.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Hey super-eco-woke-turtle-loving-climate-change-disciples,

    When will you be ready to ban free condoms programmes and free syringes for junkies?

    Doesn’t you know those end up on the oceans as well?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    The ban culture strikes again.

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    • Anonymous says:

      As opposed to the thoughtless, produce stupid, environment trashing crap culture?

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      • Anonymous says:

        This ban will amount to absolutely nothing in terms of cleaning the oceans and saving turtles. However it will make virtue signaling woke people like you feel good about themselves. So there’s that.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    We need token annual DEH collection fees for private households, with weekly bag limits per household, higher duty and recycling for items packaged in #5 polypropylene plastic, and an outright importation ban on toxic #6 polystyrene/styrofoam. For starters.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Leave off the “DEH collection fees” and you will get a lot more thumbs up.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I pay garbage fees living in a tiny condo, but the millionaires living on the tracks of land with 5000sqft single family homes won’t pay for disposal of their crap. That’s rich.

  14. Anonymous says:

    By extension , the use of 2 component closed cell Polystyrene &/or Polyester foam commonly used for wall / construction forms should also be prohibited . Or are we just going to ban the Styrofoam cups and be Ok with this environmentally damaging & hazardous form of building ?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    I remember when paper bags were used for everything that we now use plastic bags for. Paper bags can be made from recycled paper. Returning to paper bags is another reason to continue planting trees and better manage our forests, rather than letting them burn down. Paper bags can be used in the garden, reused for groceries. They degrade over a short time. Like any material, they need to used wisely.

    Perhaps we threw the baby out with the bath water.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’m from the UK and can remember take away food and groceries wrapped in paper. When I visit friends in rural Alabama they still do that. They have never used plastics or styrofoam for convenience food and use paper bags in the stores. Guess they always knew something we didn’t?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ha I can remember when we used straw baskets make right here in the cayman islands. Why dont we go back to them.

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    • Aubrey Stillwell says:

      I thought plastic bags were made from artificial trees. 🤪

  16. Anonymous says:

    Your $20 plate of turtle stew at Pirates Week just became $25
    #sustainability

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Add plastic takeaway cutlery to that list, and add mandatory commercial recycling for bars, restaurants, and hotels. DEH should provide picture-illustrated public multi-product trash bins around the islands as well, like we are all reading from the same hymn sheet.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Those advocating for a plastic free Cayman need to tell the people how that it will increase the cost of living. They. should also tell them exactly how much it’s going to cost.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If your “living” is so tied to consumption of the specific single use plastic identified, and you don’t already understand that there are costs for doing nothing, then it would be a waste of air to explain why any incremental premium should make sense to you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Cost = Your children’s future, if nothing is done .

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Referendi!

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Litter is litter.

    For all those non thinking fad followers, all the paper cups and paper to go containers you use CANNOT be composted in the Cayman Islands – they are going straight to the top of Mount Trashmore.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What do you suggest?

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t use paper cups use the glass or plastic ones that you already have in your cupboard which can be reused or tell the bartender you’d like a glass. And don’t use paper bags – just get your own reusable bags and use them when you go shopping. This has been going on long enough for everyone to use their own bags for shopping, but I still see hundreds of people gaily walking out of the supermarket with about 20 plastic bags in their trolley. Supermarkets – simply stop using plastic bags. Tell people from such and such a date, they will no longer be available.

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  21. voisard says:

    There is no need to do local studies on the impact of plastic pollution. All of this has already been done elsewhere, and action has been taken in most major democracies. Every day new studies are published which show the destruction of the planet by the effects of plastic pollution. The solution should be global and initiated by the government by a law prohibiting all these polluting and destructive materials, as is already the case. case elsewhere.
    Respect for the environment also involves education, I live near a large school and I have a broken heart when I see children throwing their rubbish on the side of the road. Every morning, I go swimming on a wild beach in West Bay.
    On the beach, I find the waste of the previous evening’s dinners, plastic bags of Tortuga, containers from Foster’s or Wendy’s, cans, bottles of beer. And yet, there are garbage cans, but you have to walk a few steps … Everything is therefore a question of education of the people and it starts at school. Some countries have had the excellent idea of ​​having fabric shopping bags made by the local population, which provides income for those who are unemployed or on low incomes.
    The authorities do not need to spend thousands of dollars on new studies because the problem is identified and the solutions known and already applied in many countries …
    As I said earlier, it is a question of education and political courage …

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  22. Anonymous says:

    This will be challenged as it violates our most basic human rights.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Can we even do this? I thought we sold our soul to this guy. What if he says no?

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  24. Anonymous says:

    This says all: “However, there is still no sign of this plan being implemented and government has done very little.” Is it because the government is now controlled by Mister Dart?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe it’s because they just announced the ban and sadly we all know that there is nothing quick about government (except for their appeals on things they should not be appealing – same sex marriage and cruise port referendum anyone?) If they have legislation in place for 1 January 2021 it will be nothing short of a miracle!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes! Our government is in Dart’s pocket.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Common sense prevails

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Lol, a committee is needed “to consider” a single use plastics ban ! When other places have gone ahead with it, with concern only for the environment. Let’s see how blatant this will get.

    Still think only “ Caymanians” are conflicted and corrupt ?

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Help Fix the Dump!
    1) recycle bins at all public spaces… which can then create more jobs so we have a team to pick up the recyclable items from these bins.
    2) require all hotels to get rid of their silly tiny shampoo (etc) bottles and use bulk bottles that can be refilled- this will help eliminate soooo much waste!! Also, make it mandatory that they recycle those items that can be. I see a few restaurants doing this already, no reason why gov’t can’t make this a requirement for all hotels/restaurants/bars!
    3) Get on with the plastic ban asap!

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  28. Anonymous says:

    We wish, don’t hold your breath on this one.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Why wait until 2021? Do it now!

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    • Sandra says:

      Absolutely. The Cayman Islands is waaaay behind most of the rest of the world with regard to protection of the environment. No more studies necessary, no more discussion necessary. As has been said “JUST DO IT”!

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Lol. Fake news.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Finally! There are other options out there!

    There is literally no excuse for any business selling food to use single use plastics. I personally refuse to get take away meals from anywhere that does. We the consumers have the power to make restaurants change their practices now lets start using that power!

    The restaurants can go ahead and add an extra $0.50 (or whatever the cost might be) to my meal to offset the cost of the biodegradable containers. I’ll gladly take the lick.

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    • Anonymous says:

      9.47am Not all of us can afford to take the lick. The problem with biodegradable good containers is they often breakdown before the meal can be consumed.

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      • Anonymous says:

        If you can’t afford to take the lick you shouldn’t be buying take away meals. It’s much cheaper to cook at home. There’s some free financial advice for you. You’re welcome.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Dart does not make “Styrofoam”. Styrofoam is a trademarked product produced by Dow Chemical.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t confuse the Dart haters with the truth. Plenty of reasons to dislike Mr D but the current manufacture of Styrofoam isn’t one of them.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You’re being a tad disingenuous here, but just to clear the air. Dow’s “Styrofoam” is extruded polystyrene (XPS) and Dart’s foam containers are expanded polystyrene (EPS). For all intents and purposes it’s the exact same material, manufactured in a slightly different manner to achieve different cell sizes. They have identical impact on marine environment when polluted.

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    • Anonymous says:

      William A Dart worked at Du Pont and experimented and perfected an Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) molding process, shipping their first insulated EPS foam cups in April 1960. Dart Container Corp, a single-use food services company, with est. $1.1Bln/year in sales, remains the world’s largest manufacturer of EPS foam cups and containers, producing about as many as all competitors combined. The private family-held company purchased Solo Cup Company in May 2012. There are 15,000 employees with 45 production centers in eight countries. The company is co-owned by Kenneth B Dart (Chairman) and Robert C Dart (CEO). Ken and Bob both fled taxation the USA, and moved to the Cayman Islands. In 2002 they settled $26mln in back taxes, freeing Bob and family to move back to Florida (where they also own huge tracts of land).

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