Dominica to completely ban plastic and Styrofoam by 2019

Dominica to completely ban plastic and Styrofoam by 2019
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The Caribbean nation of Dominica plans to completely ban the use of common plastic and single-use Styrofoam cups and food containers by January 2019.

CNN reported Friday that Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit first announced the nation’s preservation effort in budget address in June.

"Dominica prides itself as the ‘Nature Isle.’ We must in every way deserve and reflect that designation," Skerrit said in June. "The issue of solid waste management affects that perception and we continue to grapple with it."

Though the country has not yet finalized the full list of items that will banned under its new effort, the government said in the address that the ban will also include plastic plates, plastic forks, plastic knives and plastic straws in addition to Styrofoam cups and containers.

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The country was heavily damaged by Hurricane Maria last year and is still dealing with some of the side of effects of that destruction.

"Extreme weather events are now more frequent and intense, brought on by climate change impacts that are real, visible, devastating and unrelenting," Skerrit said in the June address.

"We must rebuild and reset our society and economy and protect our environment in order to achieve a new, more resilient Dominica,” Skerrit added.

The news comes just weeks after Disney said it will stop using plastic straws and plastic stirrers at its locations across the world by mid-2019. And earlier this year, McDonald’s also said it would stop using plastic straws at all of its stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland. 

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May also announced a nationwide ban on plastic straws in an effort to eliminate plastic waste by 2042.

And in the United States, Seattle became the first major city to ban plastic straws and utensils in July, following several other smaller cities and businesses nationwide.