Ministry of Environment officials said conflicting schedules led to the cancellation earlier this month of the second meeting of the government-initiated single-use plastic steering committee.
They insisted that they remain committed to addressing Cayman’s single-use plastics usage.
Local environmental groups Plastic Free Cayman and Protect Our Future last week registered their disappointment after the cancellation of the meeting of the steering committee and the absence of a rescheduled date.
The meeting had been scheduled for Wednesday, 11 Dec. The groups said that a list showed there are 29 representatives on the committee and 13 of them had committed to attend, including three volunteers from Plastic Free Cayman.
However, the meeting was cancelled until further notice by a Ministry of Health representative, due to insufficient numbers to make up a quorum, according to the groups’ statement.
Environment Ministry Acting Chief Officer Nellie Pouchie, in response to queries from the Cayman Compass about the cancellation, said the meeting will be rescheduled for January.
“Unfortunately, the recently scheduled meetings were postponed due to conflicting schedule with the Legislative Assembly being in session (4 Dec.) and the unavailability of the majority of invited persons (11 Dec.). I can assure you however that Honourable Ministers [Dwayne] Seymour and [Joey] Hew remain passionate and committed to this important topic,” she said in her emailed response.
However, the environmental groups said there is a lack of government will to take action on the issue of single-use plastics, adding that Cayman was falling behind the region.
“A multitude of international organisations provide readily available online resource tools to assist policymakers. Global agencies, such as the United Nations, have made publicly available reports, recommendations, guidelines and resources to assist local governments tackle this planet-wide plastic crisis,” the group said in its statement.
The groups encouraged the community to take the ‘345 Plastic Free Pledge’, which is a commitment to live a more plastic-free life.
Regional countries with bans on single-use plastics
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Turks and Caicos
US Virgin Islands
Source: United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme