After a tropical storm brought a tidal wave of plastic debris and garbage bobbing along the Caribbean island’s famously beautiful shoreline, Dominica, joined the global fight to combat ocean pollution with a bold proclamation.
By January of 2019, the nation plans on eliminating common plastics, such as single-use straws, and Styrofoam food items.
The aptly-named Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit claims that the ban will aid in the restoration of more remote regions, as better solid waste management practices are put into effect.
Sharing more similarities with the former American president than just his name, Skerrit also displayed his devotion to the natural landscape of his country. He said at a budget meeting in June that “Dominica prides itself as the ‘Nature Isle,’” and his country “must in every way deserve and reflect that designation.”
“We must rebuild and reset our society and economy, and protect our environment in order to achieve a new, more resilient Dominica,” he added.
Other ocean-encircled countries, such as New Zealand, Great Britain, and Australia have already committed to the removal of certain plastics with great success. The implementation of a mere 5 pence tax on each plastic bag sold in the UK was enough to reduce the amount of plastic bags on UK beaches by 40% the very next year.
However, the “Nature Isle” is taking the environmental movement one step further by also removing plastic plates, forks, and knives, with a full list of prohibited items expected later this year closer to the installment of the ban in January.
With Dominica taking urgent action, one can hope the Caribbean nation will be the ‘Nature Isle’ for many years to come.
[CORRECTION: Earlier version incorrectly named the island as Dominican Republic]
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