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Examples of plastic shopping bags. (iWN photo)
Examples of plastic shopping bags. (iWN photo)
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Following up on the ban on the importation and use of Styrofoam products, the government will, this year, implement a number of policies aimed at further protecting the environment.

Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves said in the Budget Address on Monday that this government intends to deepen its commitment to environmental stewardship through four additional measures:

The government plans to curtail severely the free availability of single-use plastic bags in supermarkets and other retail centres, while promoting the use of reusable or recyclable bags.

It will also ban the importation of used automobiles over 12 years old, and increase by EC$1,000 the surcharge for vehicles over 4 years old.

Gonsalves said that his government will limit phosphate run-off by incentivising the importation of phosphate-free detergents, which is less damaging to aquatic life.

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The government will also be regulating the manner in which refuse and grey water is disposed of by businesses and residences, particularly in the vicinity of coastal areas.

“We are not unmindful of the fact that the problem of localised sewage disposal in other developed tourist destinations has been sufficiently severe so as to prompt various logistical and public relations challenges. We hope, in the development of our tourist product, to pre-empt or minimise some of the unfortunate environmental side effects of mass tourism,” Gonsalves said.

He said that, as with the Styrofoam ban, the public and the business community can expect to enjoy sufficient consultation, notice and education on these environmental measures before they are implemented.

The Styrofoam ban came into full effect at the end of January.

The finance minister, who also has ministerial responsibility for sustainable development, said that though not perfect, he is proud of the level of implementation so far and thanked the business sector and consumers for their willing acceptance of the measure.

“The amount of garbage clogging our drains and waterways has been markedly reduced, and the ecological benefits are undeniable. Of course, challenges in the implementation will persist as we all adapt to these new regulations, but I am confident that we will solve these challenges in the same spirit of cooperation and goodwill that we have demonstrated thus far,” Gonsalves said.

10 replies on “Gov’t to clamp down on single-use plastic bags”

  1. Vincentians would soon have to take their families to Church in Donkey carts. The sky rocketing cost of imourg duties on vehicles is astronomical when compared to other smaller Caribbean Countries. One of my dislikes about the ULP is that they rely to heavily on taxation. It is as if they are using taxation as a form punishment.

    I would like them to seriously examining the duty rate in the British Caribbean Overseas Territorries on imported vehicles. Vincentians need to make a serious comparison between taxation at home and some smaller Caribbean Countries. They would see how disadvantage they are. Taxes are necessary but my God you don’t have to kill the people.

    They ULP talked about the environment but yet Kingstown is like an “S” hole as Donald Trump put it. If you want to do something about the environment clean up Kingstown. Build proper stalls for the vendors so they can display their products healthily. Clean the gutters and streams in Kingstown. Fix Little Tokyo. Clean up the shops infront the Police Barracks etc…

    1. Well said!

      IWN, you need to add like and dislike options/buttons/icons to your articles and to the comments. A reader may simply want to select ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ after reading an article or comment.

    2. I totally agree with your assessment of our s%^&*hole capital, Kingstown.

      But our obese and out of shape citizens should be encouraged to walk to church or take a van if the distance is far. Used pleasure vehicles should be totally banned (see below) because our poorly constructed roads cannot tolerate all these rundown skettels.

    3. Love your comment! I’ll bet there are many that agree with you. Yes! clean up Kingstown and don’t forget to fix the terrible sidewalks! The bad drainage is a responsibility that the government is shirking. Maybe they should do something about that before they point the finger at the people! Sounds like the usual Gonsalves tactic: point the finger at someone else although they themselves are just as guilty.

  2. Rafael Stefania says:

    This is true but Vincentians have little exposure to other caribbean islands. Also everything happening in SVG has Camillo Gonsalves attached to it. mmmm?

  3. What the government needs to crack down on is people #slaving working for $30 for 8hr shift in stores, supermarkets and other private entities around st.vincent etc .How do they expect peopl to survive especially those with families food and bills are on the rise and salaries are getting smaller vincentians need to wake up even nurses and police are slaving for lil or nothing the salaries only look big at the end of the month but wen you divide and subtract its post is not political just need a change in this country #minimum wage needs to be reevaluated minister who is charge of setting it needs to show empathy providing that he is in the position of collecting $30 a day to feed his family.these are the issues we all need to address in this country.#Remember once people are not satisfied with salaries work wouldnot get done to the many issues needs to be looked at in this country.# unsanitary workplaces ,overworked and underpaid citizens time to wake up people sleeping for too long

  4. U r so right taxation killing we. And look how backward they are imagine a further tax of $8.00 a day for visitors coming to this country when u should of been creating incentive for the visitors to come..ah wonder how the hoteliers feel about this.

  5. Delroy Williams says:

    If we wish to reduce the amount of plastic bags, just have business outlets charge 5 cents for each bag as is done in the UK. This would place the onus on shoppers to reuse these bags when going shopping thereby reducing the amounts going to the landfill.

  6. These huge taxes on imported vehicles serve only to penalise the middle class and are not intended to protect the environment. If the intention was to protect the environment then one would expect stricter enforcement of tail pipe emissions, regular vehicle inspections and things like that. Out public transportation system is atrocious, but has been ignored over the years. That’s why people make such huge sacrifices to own a vehicle. So now we are punished with a poor and irregular transportation system that is often unfit/unsafe for children on the one hand and excessively expensive vehicles because of back breaking taxes.

  7. Well said,kingstown-especially tokyo needs immediate attention .You ever visit the toilet next to coreas mini-mart?then u will see a real shithole

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