TCI News

Ban in effect from today; do not bring toxic single use plastic bags to TCI

#Providenciales, April 16, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Now officially outlawed at the borders of the Turks and Caicos Islands are single use plastic bags; the government ban on imports took effect today April 15, 2019 and residents are largely thrilled at the initiative.

“Amazing. We’ve been on board with this idea since we brought in reusable bags at Kishco in 2009. Great job to the government in enforcing this. We’re excited to keep this going.”

This was one of dozens of supportive comments posted at the Facebook page of the Office of the Premier where the press release was publiscised on April 5, 2019.

“Love this, well needed Beautiful by Nature and it’s clean by our choices.”

Claps and kisses and requests for more bans on more pollutants as the information was shared over 600 times, and attracted over 60 comments.

The government obviously agrees, citing as the reasons for the ban on the troublesome single use plastic bags that, “Plastic bags are one of the most visible signs of the pollution problem that extends across our islands. Plastic does not dissolve; it breaks into tiny pieces and stays there for up to 1,000 years… Marine organisms ingest toxins from the trash and these toxins make their way into the food chain, affecting multiple organisms… Trash in the streets promotes disease and pestilence and plastics have a huge environmental cost, and this ban is one simple step we can take towards fixing it.”

People are now calling for Styrofoam, straws, garbage bags and plastic bottles to be banned too.  Government is however, for now, focused on getting the single use bags gone for good and listed the businesses expected to be impacted by the measure.

“…affects grocery and convenience stores, retailers, pharmacies, restaurants, liquor stores, seasonal and temporary businesses, jewelry and household goods stores. All businesses that provide a checkout bag to customers at the point of sale, must be compliant with this Policy.”

The full ban will take effect on Wednesday May 1, 2019 and to help stores make the transition seamlessly, there is a tax break.

“The Government has reduced the customs import duties to 10% on select tariff codes to reflect the alternative.”

Another post on Facebook said, “Wonderful news on reducing duty on the alternatives- will the same be offered to fish fry vendors and coffee vendors for reduced paper alternatives instead of Styrofoam? many still use it because Styrofoam is the cheapest but if we consider the overall cost to our country it’s the worst. Thank you Madam Premier and all ministers for listening to the public..”

The advice to the consumer:  Please, remember to bring your reusable bags.



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