Choose a better quality of life without single use plastic

ORANJESTAD - at the end of 2018, the Government of Aruba announced its campaign “choose zero” which consist of no plastic, no foam and no oxybenzone products. 

Alternatives for plastic productsThe Department of Environment and Nature (DNM) explains more about the new law banning the import, production, sale and give out of single use plastic and foam products as well as sunscreen containing oxybenzone.

The plastic industry consists of a coding system for the recycling, which includes seven recycle categories for plastic. Plastic products are tagged with either: PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS and other codes or a combination of categories. The codes indicate any level of toxicity, scientific name and general use.

Plastic wasteSome examples:        

  • PET; the type of plastic used for the making of soda and water bottles.                              
  • PP; plastic material used in manufacturing of furniture and car parts

Single use plastic products like foam boxes, cups, plates, utensils and straws are classified with different codes. The DNM recommends the change of habit for these single used products and encourages the use of the more sustainable options. This includes the use of multiple use and ecofriendly products like stronger plastic products, Porcelain products, and glass, stainless steel, carton and biodegradable materials like bamboo or seaweed.

Plastic wasteAlternatives for the use of straw: stainless steel straws, paper/cardboard straws or choose not to use any straws.

The use of single use plastic is convenient and has become a habit in many homes. These habits caused a critical level of plastic waste affecting the environment. Single use plastic waste is not only found on land but is also found in the ocean affecting marine life. Due to the slow degrading of single use plastic, it is inexorable that it will affect everybody as it eventually enters our food chain system.                                      

Dead bird with stomach full of plastic wasteMany animals mistakenly consume plastic and die. Many marine investigations of deceased marine animals have found plastic in their stomach.

The yearly beach cleanups are important for the preservation of the areas as many tons of trash including plastic is removed from the ocean surrounding Aruba. All this waste is transferred to the designated waste handling areas.

The new law prohibits the single use of plastic, foam and oxybenzone products and prevents the negative impact on the environment. There will be less waste from the prohibited items, since it will no longer be part of the consumer’s waste landscape. As a result, the waste process will be a cleaner one.

The DNM encourages everybody to make the necessary adjustments in their daily habits of using plastic or single use items.