Planning Ministry meets with stakeholders over plans to ban imports of styrofoam

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 16:15

The Permanent Secretary and a team from the Ministry of Planning and Development has met with representatives of the food and beverage container industry, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce Trinidad and Tobago to engage in consultation on the issue of banning the manufacture, import and use of styrofoam for food and beverage containers in Trinidad and Tobago.  

A statement by the Ministry says the key decision coming out of today’s meeting was the formation of a working committee comprising Government Ministries and private sector stakeholders to chart a path forward that will be beneficial to all.  

The statement says the Ministry of Planning and Development stresses that this ban is not a unilateral stance by the Government, and the consultation process facilitates the exploration of partnerships with the public and private sector as well as academia.  

It says there is also the opportunity for innovation within the sector in light of the global shift away from styrofoam products.

The statement added that Minister of Planning and Development Camille Robinson-Regis, acknowledges bans on styrofoam products in some Caribbean islands and other countries around the world, but stresses the importance this Government places on ensuring the considerations of all our citizens’ concerns in decision making.  

It adds that in the case of the stakeholders at this particular meeting, factors such as the competitiveness of their businesses, livelihood of their employees, national trade as well as impacts on the consumer are major factors for consideration.  

The minister reiterated that the Ministry of Planning and Development is in support of the ban but wants to follow a process in accomplishing this.