In March 2018, The Government of Belize committed to phasing out the use of single-use plastics such as plastic shopping bags, drinking straws, Styrofoam, plastic food utensils, clamshells, flat plates and cups.
On Jan 14, 2020, the Government of Belize announced the phase-out plan to ban single-use plastics is now officially under the legislation. This is an important and positive step for Belize to enact this to reduce pollution and protect Belize.
What does the legislation mean exactly?
This new legislation regulates the importation and manufacture of Restricted Products listed in Schedule I of the regulations through a licensing and permitting process through the Department of the Environment.
The legislation also prohibits the importation, manufacture, sale, and possession of Prohibited Products listed in Schedule II of the Regulations. This Prohibition will be conducted through a transitional process as follows:
(a) prohibit the importation of products listed in Schedule II three (3) months after the enactment date of this legislation;
(b) prohibit the manufacture of products listed in Schedule II six (6) months after the enactment date of this legislation;
(c) prohibit the sale of products listed in Schedule II nine (9) months after the enactment date of this legislation; and
(d) prohibit the possession of products listed in Schedule II twelve (12) months after the enactment date of this legislation.
The list of single-use plastic products to be prohibited as per Schedule II of the Environmental Protection (Pollution from Plastics) Regulations, 2020, is as follows:
• Single-use styrofoam and plastic “clamshells”
• Single-use styrofoam and plastic plates, bowls, and cups and lids
• Single-use plastic forks, knives, spoons, sporks, and cutlery
• Single-use plastic carrier bags commonly referred to as shopping bags and/or T-shirt bags
• Single-use plastic drinking straws
How is Island Expeditions supporting the single-use plastic ban in Belize?
We support Belize on the complete ban of single-use plastic and have taken steps towards improving environmental sustainability practices throughout our operations in Belize.
Here's what we have implemented over the past year:
Recycling Stations are now available at all our Belize lodges, Basecamps and offices.
Reusable shopping bags and containers are now used for shopping and transporting items to our Basecamps and lodges.
All guides and staff riding boats have been issued quality orange raincoats that will be printed with “Belize Adventure Group Crew”. These will replace the one time use garbage raincoats.
Guides will be mandated to own and use only a refillable water bottle.
Straws are no longer provided in drinks at Bocawina Rainforest Resort although some remain in stock and are only provided when a customer requests it – until the stock is depleted.
We included a sustainability workshop at the staff training in November. We continue to educate and encourage all our staff to join us in this mission and commit to being more environmentally responsible.
Removing plastic water bottles from Bocawina waterfall rappelling and off-site tours.
Providing biodegradable soap through dispensers at our Basecamps and at Tobacco Caye.
Using our own reusable food containers when ordering food into the office for lunch on work days.
Purchasing serving dishes with lids to replace the use of saran and foil wraps when serving guests.
Beach cleaning at Half Moon Caye, Lighthouse Reef
How can visitors to Belize support the single-use plastic ban?
Here’s a few ideas on how you can support the ban and some great ideas for packing and travelling anywhere!
Pack a reusable non-plastic water bottle
Bring a reusable multipurpose bag
Want a straw with your tropical cocktail? Bring your own reusable straw!
Dine in - even for a coffee! Dining in instead of taking food to-go is one of the easiest ways to avoid single-use plastic and other disposable paper products.
Pack your own eco-friendly toiletries. Shop online for zero waste toothpaste, vegan deodorants, sustainable soaps and biodegradable reef friendly sunscreen.
Go Plogging (combination of jogging with picking up litter ) - Show you care about where you travel, lend a hand to keep it clean and set an example for other tourists!
Pack plastic free products on your trip to Belize
Let's all do our part to reduce our impact on the planet, support local economies and protect wildlife!
Planning a Trip to Belize?
Contact us today and let one of our Belize trip planners set up your trip. You can reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.667.1630