Waiver of import duties for alternatives to single-use plastic
Thursday, July 23, 2020
by Department of Sustainable Development

The Government of Saint Lucia has approved the waiver of 100 percent import duties on all biodegradable, plant-based and compostable food service containers entering the local market. This is in support of the Styrofoam and Plastic Food Service Containers (Prohibition) Act No. 22 of 2019 enacted August 1, 2019. The Act prohibits the importation of All Styrofoam and selected single-use plastic food-service containers.

This waiver is necessary due to the high price of the alternatives which continue to be a major deterrent to businesses and the resultant effect is the increased charge to the final consumers. Some businesses have had to increase their prices in order to cushion the high expense of the alternatives to styrofoam and plastics food service containers prohibited under the Act.

Therefore, this long awaited concession should be a welcomed reprieve for consumers and suppliers to address their challenges as they have been supportive from the onset of this initiative.

Honourable Dr. Gale T.C. Rigobert, in reiterating government’s continued support and commitment declares, “as we continued to listen, we heard a further cry as a result of this initiative. It is no secret that the cost of suitable alternatives to the banned items is a concerning issue to all from the importers to the consumers and patrons of the various establishments and businesses.  We want to assure the public that we are equally concerned about protecting the environment and safeguarding livelihoods”.

In order to ensure that the new biodegradable and compostable food service containers being introduced on the local market are of the highest quality, meet international standards and are suitable for use in the food and beverage industry of Saint Lucia, the Department of Sustainable Development will work alongside the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards in providing approval for the concessions.

Minister Rigobert also encourages persons to adhere to the procedures in obtaining the concessions to ensure that standards of the food service containers presented on the market are of the best quality.

For more information, please contact the Department of Sustainable Development at telephone number 468 5861/3/10.