BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, 9th November, 2023- The Ministry of Environment, Climate Action, and Constituency Empowerment recently launched a public awareness campaign with the central message “Our Islands, Our Responsibility.”
This initiative, led by the Department of Environment (DoE), aims to eradicate the widespread use of single-use plastics, emphasizing the government’s unwavering commitment to phasing out these environmental hazards.
At the heart of this endeavor, lies the banning, phasing out, and replacement of selected single-use plastics, with a particular focus on plastic bags, Styrofoam, and polystyrene which is the material that appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves and stoves are made from. These products have a high negative environmental impact on oceans, landfills, and the overall environment.
The Government of St Kitts and Nevis, in its commitment to sustainability, aims to implement the plastic ban during the first quarter of 2024. In the interim, residents are being urged to take proactive steps, adjusting their lifestyles and business practices to align with the impending legislation.
Derionne Edmeade, Director of the DoE said local businesses have a crucial role to play in this transition of embracing biodegradable alternatives. He said, “It is high time that supermarkets, shops, and restaurants reconsider their packaging choices. Every resident, from students to working professionals, can contribute significantly. It’s as simple as ditching single-use plastic bags in favor of reusable ones and refusing plastic straws at restaurants. Small adjustments, when adopted by all, lead to big changes.”
In a statement echoing the government’s commitment to sustainability and the renewed awareness campaign during Sustainability Month, Senator the Hon. Dr. Joyelle Clarke, the Federal Minister with responsibility for Environment, remarked:
“As we stride forward on our path towards becoming a Sustainable Island State, the decision to ban single-use plastics stands as a testament to our dedication. It is a pivotal moment in our journey, underscoring our resolve to protect our pristine beauty by promoting environmental conservation and biodiversity protection. The relaunch of our awareness campaign during Sustainability Month is a strategic move, serving as a reminder of our shared responsibility to preserve the very essence of our islands. By phasing out these harmful plastics, we pave the way for a cleaner, greener, and more resilient future – a future where our paradise remains unspoiled and vibrant.”
The DoE is a crucial arm of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Action and Constituency Empowerment with a clear mandate for environmental protection and pollution control.