sea turtle surrounded by plastic pollution

The Problem

Belize generated more than 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste in 2010. Much of that plastic waste makes its way to the Caribbean Sea, polluting cayes, beaches and our precious Belizean Barrier Reef, harming marine life and threatening entire food webs.


What We Do

Oceana campaigns for national policies to reduce ocean plastic pollution at its source.

In January 2020, the Government of Belize officially banned several single-use disposable plastic items that collectively represent approximately 20% of the solid waste collected nationally. The ban will be phased-in by the end of 2021. Single-use plastic products prohibited includes:

  • Styrofoam and plastic “clamshells”
  • Styrofoam and plastic plates, bowls, and cups and lids
  • Plastic forks, knives, spoons, sporks, and other cutlery
  • Plastic shopping and t-shirt bags
  • Plastic drinking straws

Oceana campaigns to ensure the ban is implemented in accordance with the committed timeline. We are also working with the government’s Technical Committee to establish acceptable standards for more sustainable alternatives to the single-use items that have been banned.

Oceana has worked with communities across the country, particularly in San Pedro and Placencia, which are leading the way in adopting plastic-free alternatives. We also publicly support Belizean businesses that are adopting their own innovative and affordable alternatives.

You can help ensure Belize’s government adequately implements this important ban by joining Oceana.