Plastic ban to include eight single-use items

| 06/06/2023 | 56 Comments
George Town landfill (photo by Protect Our Future)

(CNS): Almost four years since the previous administration formed a committee to look at a ban on single-use plastic in the Cayman Islands, a proposal is finally going to Cabinet that could put an end to the importation of eight plastic items. Premier Wayne Panton revealed the news in a social media message for World Environment Day but did not say which products are likely to be banned.

This year’s WED theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. The UN Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) met in Paris last week, aiming to develop an international legal treaty by next year to work towards eradicating this growing pollutant and its increasingly alarming horrors.

Banning certain single-use plastics is one of the tools that countries are using to reduce their contribution to this growing pollution, given that less than 10% of plastic waste is actually recycled.

Despite the efforts of local activists, especially Plastic Free Cayman, which was established in 2017 to press for such a ban, Cayman remains one of only a handful of countries in this region that still has no restrictions on any plastics. However, the premier has said the PACT Government is committed to doing its part to reduce the collective consumption of single-use plastic, though he has not said why it is taking so long.

“The Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency is in the process of submitting a proposal to Cabinet for the ban of eight single-use plastic products, and we look forward to being able to share more information on this proposal in the coming weeks,” he said in the message.

“Government has an important role to play in helping to address the challenges of plastic pollution, but so do individuals and private organisations. World Environment Day 2023 is a reminder that people’s actions on plastic pollution matters [sic].”

Every day, people can refuse single-use plastic in favour of reusable alternatives or recycle and reuse items wherever possible and dispose of waste responsibly and lawfully, the premier said. “We can all be part of the solution to plastic pollution. Together, we can protect our beautiful Cayman Islands.”

But it has been left to the community to work on the problem as there has been almost no promotion or public education about reducing and reusing waste of any kind, including plastic, by the Department of Environmental Health. Plastic Free Cayman has been at the forefront of community efforts urging the ban, as well as cleaning up beaches and promoting alternatives.

Over the last six years, PFC activists have cleared around 90,000lbs of plastic from local beaches, and while it was given a seat on the steering committee formed to work on the ban, there have been no meetings since the COVID-19 pandemic shut the islands down in 2020. CNS understands that PFC has not been consulted since or told which eight products the government is proposing to ban or restrict in the first instance.

With teenagers across the Cayman Islands leading the charge on environmental issues, Protect Our Future (POF) has also played a big role in the campaign for a plastic ban as well as taking part in the clean-ups and organising demonstrations.

Share your vote!

How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , ,

Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (56)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Guido Marsupio says:

    Once the ReGen waste-to-energy plant is operating (yes, it will be a long time; that’s a given) the plastic washed up on the beach will be collected and used as zero-cost fuel for electric generation. Saves lots of $$$ otherwise going out of your pocket and into CUC.

    • Anonymous says:

      lol, rates will be increased to counter any usage drop and everyone here knows it. #CUC “We’ve got your money”

  2. Anonymous says:


    Glyphosate poisons our water and has severe negative health impacts.


    Not even close.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just spoke with the EIA expert Jon Jon and he says an example of eight single-use items would be 4 large plates, 2 small plates, 1 large glass, and 1 straw. Or in his words “one regular meal”, and he is urging all of his constituents to follow him in giving up one meal a year to help save the country.

  4. Anonymous says:

    End result:

    Feel good effect = 100%
    Inconvenience factor = 100%
    Total Net Waste reduction in environment = 0.00%

    All the tenets of a good policy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Invest in a clean incinerator and generate energy from the trash.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have a better idea. Increased landing fees for private jets landing in Cayman. We can call it an environmental fee to make up for the carbons burned for landing and taking off. Additionally we should apply a similar fee to the Vessels registered with shipping registry. Those Yachts burn tons of fuel at no public benefit.
    While you are suffering at the grocery store and government has no answer to cost of living others are burning massive amounts of carbon they are coming for your solo cup.

  7. Anonymous says:

    That 90000 pounds of trash isn’t from people in Cayman that’s from other countries with the currents pushing trash on the shore.

    Banning single-use plastics isn’t gonna fix the issue of plastic pollution. I have been to countries that don’t have landfills there more plastic that is an entire dump and they just put it in the rivers and oceans.

    I agree Cayman needs to fix the dump, but banning plastic forks and single-use stuff isn’t going to fix the problems PPC complains about.

    The entire Plastic Free Cayman needs to realize you can’t ban plastic all kinds of things are made with petrochemicals that aren’t even plastic that the common person wouldn’t know.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Funny how generations forget. I can recall government narratives to switch to plastics to save trees. We were encouraged to switch from paper bags!

    • Anonymous says:

      I remember when we were told to switch from grape leaf to paper because it was better for the environment. Guess that will be switching back soon too.

  9. Anonymous says:

    what happened to all the good wells and rain water that we use to drink. Oops, forgot we import municipal/sewer water in plastic bottles from US. I think there are still a couple people left on the Brac who drink rain water.

    Ah, the good old days when you would catch water off roof in a 55 gallon tar drum and use it for drinking water – hardly any plastic bottles back in that day.

    So start charging lets say 5 cents per plastic bottles – like they do in Maine, USA. When you bring the plastic bottle back to the store (or recyling centre) you get your 5 cents back.
    Maine also banned single use plastic grocery bags and yet everybody still manages to survive without them.

    Now the naysayers will say this aint Maine – you are right.

    Anywho, I don’t expect any Government with Caymanians in charge will implement such a common sense idea.

    Bring back glass bottles? Bring back paper bags?

    • Anonymous says:

      cant stand people who post common sense ideas – you Mam or Sir definitely are not a politician or government employee

  10. Anonymous says:

    99% of the 90000 pounds of plastic cleaned from the beaches drifted in from somewhere else. By and large Cayman disposes of their plastic waste in the proper way. Now when it comes to where it goes, the dump, that’s a different story.

    Why can’t we use a deposit system like they use in many states? You won’t find an empty soda or beer container laying about for long under that scheme. Plenty of people are willing to pick it up and return it to collect the deposit. This also puts the cost directly on those using it where it should be.

    • Anonymous says:

      single use plastics:
      Cotton bud sticks
      Cutlery, plates, straws and stirrers
      Balloons and sticks for balloons
      Food containers
      Cups for beverages
      Beverage containers
      Cigarette butts
      Plastic bags
      Packets and wrappers
      Wet wipes and sanitary items
      Face masks
      Caps from pretty much everything

  11. Anonymous says:

    Single use condoms should be the first to go.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Virtue signaling PACT style.

  13. Anonymous says:

    2017 we’re committed 😅🔜
    2018 we’re committed 😅 🔜
    2019 we’re committed 😥🔜
    2020 we’re committed 😥🔜
    2021 we’re committed 😓🔜
    2022 we’re committed 😓🔜
    2023 a proposal is finally going to Cabinet that COULD put an end to the importation of eight plastic items. COULD, WOULD, SHOULD,
    but we’re COMMITTED !

    🔘used to indicate possibility.🔜❓
    🔘used to indicate a strong inclination to do something. 🔜❓

  14. Anonymous says:

    yawn…four years later and just another soon-come update…..classic civil service/cig failure.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Stop importing thirds world labor. No more Indians to start as they are the worse for littering.

  16. Anonymous says:

    No amount of beach tidying in Cayman or single-use plastic bans will stop the gully and ditch dumping that pervades most of the municipally corrupt third world, including our immediate up-current neighbours. These are two different problems. Local policy change will not have any impact on foreign-sourced trash. We will continue to get everything that floats, including their broken flip flops, boat wreckage, fishing line, nets, and plastic. Packaging choices for our imported products are decided at vendor headquarters on the mainland. A lot of it is #5. There is too much reliance on disposable single use take out styrofoam in Cayman. Cutting that to zero should be at the top of the policy list.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are not responsible for what our neighbouring countries. However we can control what we do. That is if the elected official have the political will to do so. The people are clear on wanting the ban. We just have to see if the politician act to do what is right or what those who control the purse strings want them to do. My guess is that in two years we will still be begging for the single use ban.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Start with plastic straws please. Most adults should be able to drink out of a cup by now.

  18. Anonymous says:

    What will the PACT government do for those permit workers living in Caymanian-landlord slum housing that lacks basic fire code pass, sanitation, and safe potable water? Residents there have to use part of their menial paychecks to buy flats and flats of water from the bulk stores as a staple. Even the police don’t go in these neighborhoods. Pedestrian access only. This is where Cayman’s minimum and sub-minimum wage workforce can afford to split rent for a roof over their head. We can’t expect the well-intentioned plastic free rich kids to know about where and how their helpers, cleaners and nannies actually have to live. No sleepovers to their world.

    • Anonymous says:

      CIG has been aware of substandard housing for over 2 decades. All relevant agencies (doubtful Planning had much to say) have written and tried to bring this issue to the forefront before there is serious harm to human life. Half-hearted attempts were made over the years, but this was/is seen as too complicated to address by the head civil servants. The explosion of the house in North Sound Estates yesterday may or may not have been related to substandard housing. Still, maybe this Government will now have a better awareness of the issues and potential disasters.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey now, pipe down. Our wealthy inhabitants don’t want to hear this and God forbid that our wealthy tourists think about the poors.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Whilst this is well intended, and even commendable in effrot and scope…it’s such a small blip on the global radar that it’s almost meaningless. It saddens me to write what I just did. 99% of the plastics on our beaches, roll in on the daily tide and is evidenced by the majority it easily identifiable from its “other than english’ labelling.
    Far too many countries literally use their rivers like the pipe-system for their waste and garbage to flow out to the oceans.
    So yes, it’s a feel good and decent initiative proposed here and when it’s all accounted for, it will NOT register a blip on the pollution-saving radar unfortunately. SMH at this reality.

  20. Anonymous says:

    “Over the last six years, PFC activists have cleared around 90,000lbs of plastic from local beaches..”

    Which, in turn, was placed into plastic garbage bags half of the time and then deposited onto Mt Trashmoore as the plastic continued to replenish itself from the ocean after every episode of bad weather?

    Let’s be realist here. Sorry, not sorry, but those beach clean ups on iron shore in east end where nobody goes are absolutely pointless if all you’re doing is dumping it on top of the landfill.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do we actually expect the billionaire developer to hire estate managers to maintain their beachfront portfolios? Why bother when these kids seem eager to do it for free once a quarter! The landowner has parked tractors across the street.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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