BVI News

New waste management laws coming to reduce litter

In an effort to properly treat waste in the territory, the government has decided to enact several pieces of legislation to bring about a holistic change.

During Speech from the Throne address last week, Governor John Rankin said the government was working towards the Waste Management Bill and Plastic Litter Reduction and Container Deposit bill.

The Waste Management Bill which has been talked about since 2019, and was mentioned in the 2020 Throne Speech, is expected to be introduced in the House of Assembly in the upcoming legal year. 

This forms part of the government’s comprehensive waste management strategy that will be backed by legislation to deter perpetrators from indiscriminate waste disposal in the territory.

Plastic Litter Reduction

The governor also mentioned legislations that will be brought to strengthen the legal framework for sustainable management of household waste, industrial waste, construction and demolition waste, and hazardous waste to protect health and the environment while improving the aesthetics of the Virgin Islands.

“The Plastic Litter Reduction and Container Deposit Bill will be introduced to reduce the use of single-use plastics; promote the use of environmentally friendly alternatives through economic incentives; reduce beverage container litter along roadsides, ghuts, coastal and marine areas, and on other public or private properties; and to also encourage recycling,” Governor Rankin said.

 “The Plastic Litter Reduction and Container Deposit Bill will prohibit the importation, manufacture, sale and distribution of food and beverage service-ware made of non-compostable plastic as well as single-use disposable plastic bags that are non-biodegradable. The Bill will also grant exemptions from import duty on all disposable plastic bags and food and beverage service-ware made of biodegradable or other compostable material. It will also establish a recycling fund for the collection and disbursement of the proceeds of a levy on prescribed items,” he added.

Over the past several years, residents have been complaining about the widespread littering and improper disposal of waste in the territory. In November of last year, Minister of Health and Social Development Carvin Malone hit out against the recurring improper waste management. 

He had promised residents to introduce legislation that would see fines being instituted for bulk waste dumping at unapproved garbage disposal sites in communities across the territory.

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12 Comments

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  1. PT09 says:

    What about the biggest environmental hazard of all time, the burning of garbage where they burn tires plastic, and other hazardous waste?

    Like 22
    • plus says:

      The biggest danger to the environment here is locals filling in
      the shoreline with rubble and dumping containers on them like they are doing now below Havers. Nobody stops it. I remember lockwood pond being beautiful before M
      deliberately killed the mangroves and filled it in.

  2. Jim says:

    Until we as a community stop littering then these laws are useless. We drop trash on the beach, ghuts, in town, on the roads. We are the reason trash is so bad here.

    Until we choose to change our ways, trash will always be a problem.

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
  3. strupes says:

    PURE TALK AND NO ACTION FROM A WASTE A TIME MINISTER

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  4. LOL says:

    Passing laws which will not be enforced, what a joke. I hope they let us still import regular garbage bags.

  5. Absurd says:

    How is this going to work? Like imposing fines is going to make a difference. Efforts would be better spent trying to improve on waste collection and disposal. What do we do with old tires, appliances, furniture? What about all the waste oil etc from vehicle and boat repairs? Open air burning has to end.

    At the end of the day, nothing will change until the BVIs as a Territory decides they like their islands nice and tidy.

    Like 13
  6. Jane says:

    We need neighbourhood recycling centres like you see in every large village across Europe. These places take garden waste and composting, mattresses, old white goods, batteries, flourescent tubes, CDs, books, tires etc etc and recycle / dispose of them properly. We need to ban the importation of all trash bags and require persons and businesses to buy bags at a price which reflects the true cost of disposal (i.e. a dollar or two per bag). The problem here in BVI is that there arent any meaningful taxes, there is no sales tax and everyone just expects to throw their trash in a dumpster. In Europe (for literally decades now) people are hyper aware of producing waste because it costs them money to dispose of it. Many places will provide a small household wheelie dumpster but which only gets emptied every two weeks. This encourages people to consume less, and re-use and recycle. Everyone walks with bags when they shop to avoid having to buy bags.

  7. CCT says:

    The only difference would be CCT and follow. A truck has dumped an enormous pile of broken tile/mattress at the Palestina green skip – only a mile further to Pockwood Pond. Makes you wonder what on earth they are thinking, it really is criminal

  8. Waste of time might I add says:

    The laws wouldn’t make a difference, people in this country to ignorant to adhere to any law. Goodluck

  9. E. Leonard says:

    The VI needs to think outside of box to develop a comprehensive waste management plan. Improper waste disposal impacts air quality, environment, respiratory and other health, water, etc; creates pollution, and presents a visual non-aesthetically pleasing eye sore.

    The VI has a litter problem. Consequently, a series of corrective actions are needed. A behavioral change is needed; the Ministry Health needs to develop and launch an aggressive, territory-wide public education and outreach programme. Second, it needs to develop and launch a comprehensive recycling programme. A recycling programme will reduce the quantity of waste entering the waste stream and reduce the burden on incinerator. Third, the waste management plan must include the outlying islands.

    Fourth, it should to maximum extent practical ditch the open, uncovered collection bins. Fifth, increase collection frequency to prevent spillage on ground. Sixth, rollout automated garbage collection trucks and assigned individual carts to property(s) in Road Town, Baughers Bay, Sea Cow Bay, East End, Long Look and other areas for automated pick up. Seventh, assess fines on violators.

    • @E.Leonard says:

      Leonard, you like to think big but your suggestions may work in America, not in the BVI. The BVI leaders are short term thinkers; they are prisoner to thinking small. BVI people like to leave the heavy lifting to others. They are dreamers and wake up and the dream vanishes. They don’t like to confirm to rules.

  10. EU Citizen says:

    I think it’s a great set of laws. If you stop the inflow of non-degradable plastic you will stop the burning.

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