In bind over plastic ban

RETAILERS ARE TRYING to dump stock ahead of the April 1 deadline ban on single-use plastics, but one of them is saying six months is not enough time for some to make the switch.

The ban will be on items such as plastic cups, plates, spoons, forks, knives and straws, and styrofoam containers (including egg trays).

The retailer, who has slashed his prices, said they met with Government representatives last October, and the ban was a “rush job”.

“I had stock before they indicated anything about banning these products. You know they were coming to ban, but Government hasn’t been saying anything. It was the Future Centre Trust that was mainly putting this out,” said the man, who declined to be named but has been in the business for 13 years.

“Six months is too short. Even if they had given you a year to put your house in order, things would turn out for the better because the minute that this happened, business slowed down on this foam tray issue. This is the same stock I am trying to get rid of.”

He has not looked at alternatives, adopting a wait-and-see attitude so market forces could determine which products would be accepted. He said people selling food were going to miss the Styrofoam.

President of the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN), Alister Alexander, said while he could understand the need to protect the environment, he was not sure “if they have thought through the implementation of these things and the implications”.