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Aruba to Ban All Single-use Plastic

The Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba will impose a total ban on all single-use plastic from next year.

The island’s government made a decision in 2017 to ban all single use plastic bags and has now extended it to include items as plastic cups and straws and Styrofoam boxes, such as disposable coolers.

The ban is effective in 2019, with a one-year transition period to a total ban in 2020.

The island’s Ministry of Environment has also announced that sunscreens containing oxybenzone is to be prohibited in Aruba.

A transition phase starts in 2019 with a full ban in place by 2020. Coral reefs around the world, including along Aruba’s coastlines, are suffering from bleaching, with oxybenzone directly impacting corals’ defensive abilities.

Bleaching is typically brought on by unusually warm waters, but it is not necessarily a death sentence if the coral can regenerate. Chemicals like oxybenzone damage the DNA of coral, preventing it from recovering and developing.

According to the Coral Restoration Foundation, coral reefs are the “rainforests of the sea”, supporting 25 per cent of all marine life, protecting shores, feeding people and providing breathtaking natural playgrounds that underpin economies around the world.

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