Mon, 07 January 2019
The James Michel Foundation welcomes the long awaited ban on importation into the Seychelles of single use plastic straws. The announcement by the Ministry of Environment that this will take effect on 1st February with a complete ban on June 1 2019 is indeed good news for individuals and organisations like our own which are working tirelessly for the protection and conservation of the environment and the oceans.
Single use plastic straws whilst they are very convenient and practical can in fact be a nuisance to the environment, especially the oceans. The problem is they do not biodegrade or dissolve. Most plastic straws are too lightweight to make it through mechanical recycling sorters. They drop through sorting screens and mix with other materials and are too small to separate, contaminating recycling loads or getting disposed as garbage. Very often they are blown away.
When they make it to the ocean they are broken down into smaller and smaller pieces and eventually become very fine particles known as micro plastics. These are easily ingested by marine creatures like fish and baby turtles and over time, this represents a threat to their lives.
The good news is that there are alternatives to plastic straws.
Paper, pasta and bamboo straws are already available.
Seychelles banned the importation of Styrofoam takeaway boxes, and plastic items such as carrier bags, plates, cups and cutlery back in January 2017.