(CNS): It is now three years since the PPM-led government created a steering committee in July 2019 to shape a policy to ban some single-use plastics in the Cayman Islands, such as plastic bags, straws and take-out food containers. CNS contacted the Ministry of Sustainability this week about the status of the proposed ban but our inquiries have been ignored, despite a commitment by the PACT administration to roll out a ban by the end of the third quarter of this year — just two months away.
The government initially targeted January 2021 as the date to introduce the ban, but the steering committee has not met since the arrival of COVID-19 closed down its work in early 2020 after just a few meetings in 2019. The pandemic has since provided an excuse for what appears to be a complete lack of action relating to a potential ban.
Nevertheless, Premier Wayne Panton announced earlier this year that he intended to roll out a ban on certain single-use plastic products by October 2022.
“What I have indicated to my team is that I want to have single-use plastic bans in place in the third quarter. That is the target we have,” Panton said in May. “We’ve got to change the way we do things. We can’t just go for convenience to get things done. We got to go and do things deliberately and recognise that we have a planet and an environment and an ecosystem to respect and protect because it enables us to survive.”
The comments were made on Discovery Day shortly after the historic swim by Oly Rush, who became the first person to swim all around Grand Cayman to raise money for Plastic Free Cayman (PFC), which advocates for a local plastic ban. Following that event, Claire Hughes, the founder of PFC and a member of the steering committee, confirmed that the members had not met since before the pandemic and none of them had heard from the current government about getting the plans for a ban back on track.
As PFC continues to call on the government to implement the ban, the non-profit group organises beach clean-ups month after month. So far this year, volunteers have cleared more than 5,000lbs from the coastline.
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Has my peripheral targeted a bale fire, maybe, but also maybe the answer to the quasi headline poser might be here too, 🔥🥤
I use plastic grocery bags to line my trash bin. What am I expected to use if these bags are banned? Don’t jump down my throat, this is an honest question.
I hope you all realize the 95% of all the plastic washing up on the beach is not even from Cayman, so it will be a never ending cleanup if the world do not get its act together.
I suppose we could start by asking who owns the Solo Cup Company.
Your single use legislation might make a difference somewhere in Central America, although I doubt it, but it wll make no difference here. Everything on my beach comes from DR, Cuba or Jamaca.
Don’t blame the cruise ships…just look to the east of the Savannah/Newlands constituency office.
So you want to ban plastic bags and make me go and buy plastic trash bags? – go figure.
Nothing gets done quickly here. How many years is it since Kurt told us the Glass House was about to be demolished?
Money talks. When countries ban SUPs the companies will see profits fall if they don’t change.
We could definitely do with less cars here. Some homes here have 4 or more vehicles. Too many damn cars for the size of the island!
True. Where are the NRA bike lanes?
Today marks another Earth Overshoot Day. If residents in the Cayman Islands all lived in the same manner as residents of USA, and Canada (and many do), the Overshoot date would have been March 13. You don’t need a calculator to figure we’d need 4x Earth-sized planets to stay within renewable spectrum of conditioned consumptive habits at that pace. If we’re being honest, 5x Earth-sized planets minimum, since 8 billionth person will be born Nov 15,2022 and we already know we are irreversibly on course for at least 10 billion by 2100. Humanity either radically changes and scales back consumption or the planet will within one generation become inhospitable for life. That’s the equation we must solve for. It’s not single use plastic (bring your own and just decline the bag/straw). The time for counting greenwashing issues was perhaps 10 years ago when we didn’t know the bigger picture of IPCC AR6.
I thought the big man went on a lovely, all-expenses paid trip to a climate change / sustainability conference? Just there for the buffet perhaps.
Every time we visit we bring our own reusable mugs and water bottles. Every time we’re appalled by other visitors using plastic cups and bottles once – and then leaving them around for someone to clear up after them (yes I’m talking about you, Americans!) Visited for the first time in 3 years recently and nothing had changed in this respect …
As someone who lives here, it isn’t Americans, nor is it the English, Irish, Scottish, South Africans, etc, etc leaving rubbish about and tossing it out the vehicle windows.
Absolutely correct, 4:16. And the thudding bass “music” from their cars too.
Not just Americans…local and from all nations.
Spot the sanctimonious Canadian.Your Overshoot Day was March 13th. IMF estimates >20% of your Federal funds are spent subsidising private companies exploiting the dirtiest crude oil reserves on the planet, with the ambition of doubling production of crude by IEC production grandfathering deadline at 2050. A multinational petroeconomy deal signed in a side-room at COP26. Canadian banks inked more petro-IBK deals last year, than in the last 10. Canadian companies, and investment banks also lead the planet in fraudulent Co2 injection-frack carbon credits that have been sold 5 or 6 times already. Perhaps that’ll be one of the mechanisms for Trudeau plans to meet Carbon neutrality by 2030. He’s going to have to get very creative to offset what’s already underway. You won’t hear about any of that on the greenwashing CBC though. Good work on your cup.
I wonder how many million dollars have been used buying our leaders NOT to make the use of plastic containers illegal? How about it fearless leaders….. Why haven’t you stopped the use of plastic containers in the Cayman Islands? You are disgusting!!
Why must politicians dictate consumer and merchant behaviour to grownups? It’s pretty easy for most of us to simply say thank and decline wastefulness, bringing our own reusable bag/mug/straw/container, or whatever. Many have been doing successfully for over a generation now, without any help from CIG. Still, none of this makes a hill of beans difference while some crusaders fill their carts with meat and dairy, and then load into a V8-powered SUV for a 0.5mi journey. “Where are the NRA bike lanes”, would be a more topical crusade issue on Earth Overshoot Day, frankly.
while I consider the initiative a good intent, I find , again, that we fail to address the elephant in the room when it comes to the presence of plastics on our beaches, most of which comes from international waters , if you pay attention to the markings on the plastic debris found on our beaches , you will quickly find the provenance is either the USA or Mexico where cruise ship source their provisions for the voyage.
Plastic pollution along the Cayman coastline all but disappeared while cruise ships (floating garbage cans) couldn’t come to island, of course the problem didn’t take long to reappear as soon as they came back!
Most boat operators on island know that their livelihoods depends on providing an experience in a clean environment, only cruise lines are incentivized to rid themselves of their excess trash at sea , if only our dear coast guard chose to enforce the regulations which are already on the books! (MARPOL annex V)!
Maybe some of it from cruise ships. The bulk of the waterborne buoyant plastic waste is wind and current driven from elsewhere. For many poor, corrupt, and/or mismanaged countries, there isn’t functional municipal waste collection happening, so pragmatically, the household trash goes into the river/gully/dyke to begin it’s seaward voyage.
A 2010 study estimated that approximately 25–30 per cent of Jamaica’s garbage is improperly disposed of, often ending up in gullies, drains and rivers, which empty into the sea. No less than 16 gullies empty into Kingston Harbour. After heavy rains, hundreds of plastic bottles bob around in the water, washed down with all kinds of other debris—including bags of human waste—from the gullies into the long-suffering harbour.
In 2016, the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) published a report entitled “Garbage and the Gully,” specifically focusing on the heavily polluted South Gully in Montego Bay. Pick a poor country: Honduras, Haiti, DR, most of West Coast of Africa…gully dumping is a pervasive cultural norm, sadly.
Also disgusting is the cruise ships using our waters as their toilet. Google what they’re doing in Canada right now.
Whenever I hear the word committee in Cayman, my attention is lost.
Propaganda with goal of eliminating cars, a/c and humans for that matter.
Well then, i guest that we have two months remaining.
another story to make a mockery of the caymankind mantra….
ever wonder why our national symbol is a turtle?
Anyone on this steering committee from the food service industry?
Here’s a possible solution for all of the plastic
An excellent solution, however one requiring money and insight and resolve. None of those appear to be in our national wheelhouse.
It’s like the Sargassum — we could and should be collecting it, rinsing it, shredding it and bagging it for sale as seaweed meal. It is the best, most balanced fertiliser, and can even be used in open-system hydroponics as a growth medium.
If we are going to have to pay for collection, we might create a system by which we can make money from it, but all that seems too much like work, right?
CIG is flying to environmental conferences, talking about dealing with SMB erosion, reducing our carbon footprint and solving the sargassum problem. How are we going to do all that we can’t even act to ban single use plastics.
What about LFT’s and Masks? Where are all those going?
How about the houses and condos we tear down. Entire mutli-story apartment blocks are piled unsorted into the dumps around the world. PVC, asbestos, you name it. Household consumer waste is less than 20% of total landfill input.
If it doesn’t buy votes or make them or their friends money the idiots who run this island couldn’t care less.
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