Effective May 1, styrofoam products will be banned in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The announcement was made on Monday evening by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves as he presented the 2017 Budget in Parliament.
In an effort to lower the cost of environmentally positive substitutes for plastics, including Styrofoam, and reduce the adverse effects that plastics have on our environment, the VAT charged on biodegradable packaging and food containers will be removed.
Styrofoam is a kind of expanded polystyrene used especially for making food containers. The material gained popularity because it is lightweight – 95 per cent air. It offers good insulation properties that keep products cold or hot, and keeps things safe during the shipping process without adding weight.
However, over the years information about harmful effects of Styrofoam/EPS on people’s health and the environment have been accumulating.
[UPDATED to include that removal of VAT on biodegradable packaging and food containers was also announced.]