Cuba begins to replace single-use plastics

Cuba begins to replace single-use plastics

HAVANA,  Jan 26 The preparation of professionals and their skills for the transition to the replacement of single-use plastics with sustainable alternatives has begun in Cuba.

Specialists from Central State Administration agencies and institutions received on Thursday the first indications about the importance of the project, led by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA by its Spanish acronym).

Jose Fidel Santana Nuñez, deputy prime minister of CITMA, offered details of what will be shortly the Integrated Alliance, together for Less Plastic Waste, to prepare the country for the upcoming regulations on the need to stop pollution by polymers and the corresponding substitutions.

He pointed out that one of its objectives is to reduce the release of such wastes into the environment, for which a technological change is essential, as well as the understanding and strengthening of citizens’ awareness, commitment and contribution to reduce present and future contagion.

He announced that its implementation would be gradual, with the involvement of the non-state sector and taking advantage of the territorial strengths.

Santana Nuñez also explained that the alliance comprises 16 actions aimed mainly at strengthening information and communication on the subject, and the establishment of effective technological surveillance and intelligence abroad to update knowledge on trends.

The deputy minister recommended initiating studies for the separation at source and collection of single-use plastics, implementing fiscal instruments (tariffs, fees, taxes, incentives), requiring Extended Producer Responsibility and establishing alternatives to gradually eliminate the use of plastic knobs for water consumption at international events.

Single-use plastics and microplastics (fragments of less than 5 millimeters) have the greatest impact on global pollution, due to the difficulties in their recycling, the toxicity of some substances and the high emissions of greenhouse gases that they cause throughout their production process.

For these reasons, the 5th United Nations World Assembly on the Environment, in February 2022, adopted the decision to negotiate a legally binding instrument to address the problem of plastic pollution throughout the planet and the alternatives for its solution.

Cuba is not exempt from this exercise and the commitments that may result from it, so it must make an accurate preparation for the future implementation of the instrument, and for this purpose, it has been working with a multidisciplinary group from CITMA.