Belize joins the fight: Bans single-use plastic

The Belize government says the legislation implementing the ban on the use of single-use plastics goes into effect on Wednesday.

Environment, Sustainable Development Minister Godwin Hulse said he has signed into law the Environmental Protection (Pollution from Plastics) Regulations, 2020, which comes into effect on January 15.

“This decision was made as a necessary pollution control measure.”

— Statement

“The purpose of these regulations is to carry out Cabinet’s decision to reduce plastic and styrofoam pollution through the phasing out of single-use plastics, including shopping bags and styrofoam and plastic food utensils. This decision was made as a necessary pollution control measure to protect the terrestrial and marine environment from harmful plastic contamination,” according to a government statement.

It said that these regulations have undergone months of legislative drafting and re-drafting, and have been subjected to an extensive consultation period with regulators and stakeholders from the private sector such as importers, manufacturers and producers of single-use plastics.

According to the statement, this new legislation regulates the importation and manufacture of restricted products through a licensing and permitting process through the Department of the Environment.

The legislation also prohibits the importation, manufacture, sale, and possession of prohibited products listed in Schedule II of the Regulations.