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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2018. 3:51 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce, and the Ministry of Tourism led a collaborative task-force comprising the Department of the Environment, Customs Department, Beltraide, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, and Solid Waste Management Authority to advance a proposal to Cabinet to reduce plastic and Styrofoam pollution through the phasing out of single-use plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam and plastic food utensils by April 22, 2019.

The proposal was approved by Cabinet at its sitting today.

The phasing out of plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam and plastic food utensils, such as clam-shells, flat plates and cups, is a necessary pollution control measure to protect the terrestrial and marine environment from harmful plastic contamination.

Biodegradable alternatives to the plastic and Styrofoam products already exist on the Belizean market in the form of shopping bags, clam-shells, coffee cups and plates manufactured from plant-based materials.

Globally, plastic and Styrofoam pollution is a major concern. Large floating debris piles have formed in the Caribbean Sea and other major water bodies. These international waste debris are not only difficult to track, as they migrate with ocean currents, but they are prohibitively costly to clean up, some ending up on the Belize Barrier Reef. With the second largest barrier reef in the world, Belize is doing its part to reduce marine pollution and protect the natural environment that is the foundation of our vibrant tourism industry.

© 2018, BreakingBelizeNews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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