The Caribbean island of Dominica has just announced a far-reaching plan to crack down on plastic waste by banning single-use plastics and disposable styrofoam cups. Not only are the plans expansive, but also to be implemented very soon – starting January 2019.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced the anti-plastic plans in his budget address, CNN Travel reports. Skerrit emphasized that his government wants to help preserve Dominica’s natural landscape, which is famous for its beauty. The items banned by the new motion will include plastic straws, plates, forks, knives, and Styrofoam cups and containers. The full list is yet to be finalized.

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“Dominica prides itself as the ‘Nature Isle’. We must in every way deserve and reflect that designation,” Skerrit said.

Plastic bags and other disposable plastic items many of us use every day make up a significant part of the trash that ends up in the world’s oceans. In total, we dump around 8.8 million tons of plastic trash into the seas every year, which adds up to unimaginable amounts of pollution, threatens marine wildlife, and returns to us in more ways than one. As it is, 83 percent of the world’s tap water already contains plastic particles, and so does the majority of bottled water. Common plastics were even discovered to emit greenhouse gases as they degrade in the environment.

As the PM emphasized in his statement, the new changes are consistent with the government’s vision to “create the world’s first climate resilient nation,” the nation’s “designation as ‘The Nature Isle,’” and its “commitment to protect Mother Earth.”

Beyond the direct reduction of plastic trash, Dominica’s plans are also aimed at a better and safer future for the nation when it comes to the devastating results of climate change. “Extreme weather events are now more frequent and intense, brought on by climate-change impacts that are real, visible, devastating and unrelenting,” the PM said. “We must rebuild and reset our society and economy and protect our environment in order to achieve a new, more resilient Dominica.”

Bans and charges targeting plastics have proved to be effective in a number of countries and states. In the U.K., the government has recently shared that the number of plastic bags dropped by an astounding 86 percent since introducing a tax in 2015. With this in mind, we are thrilled to see the tides turning against plastic and hope that one day this sort of ban will be commonplace, globally.

To find out how we can help make a difference by reducing our use of plastic bags, cups, bottles, and other plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

Image source: jona3/Pixabay

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