A Recycling Culture: Recycling fast becoming a norm in St. Kitts and Nevis

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It was not long ago that the act of recycling here in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis was not too popular. However, today, recycling is being practiced in every community. The collaborative efforts between the Taiwan International Corporation and Development Fund and the St. Kitts Solid Waste Management Recycling Project have encouraged a growing culture of recycling citizens determined to do their part in protecting the environment. As the adage goes, “The proof is in the pudding.” And the “pudding” shows that there has been a steady increase in the recyclables being captured at each recycling drop off site.

The St. Kitts Solid Waste Management Recycling Project began on June 20, 2022. It aligns with the Sustainable Island State Agenda, specifically, the vision of a No-Plastic Future which seeks to encourage citizens to recycle plastic bottles, plastic caps, and aluminum cans.

This project proved to be the catalyst for the recycling movement that is slowly becoming a part of the island’s culture. One of the most effective facilitators of recycling in the country is the scheduled recycling drop-off stations. Every week, they are made available at specific locations in the urban and rural areas. Notably, there has been an increase in locals frequenting these sites since its inception.

In 2022 the recycling project collected 38,749lbs of recycled plastic within the Federation, a
promising start that increased to 73,492lbs in 2023, undoubtedly a figure that almost doubled. This underscores the commitment to the cause for a non-plastic future. A testament towards the solidarity and willingness citizens feel towards recycling and to preserving, conserving and protecting the environment.

The rise in recycling awareness and practices was not without effort by the project partners and stakeholders, who engaged in vigorous, awareness campaigns throughout the island. Communities and schools were visited, stakeholders were meaningfully engaged, and educational paraphernalia were deployed around the country and via the social media platform to encourage good recycling habits.

Additionally, the increased awareness in recycling and environmental conservation is supported with the introduction of policies that will strengthen the mission towards nurturing a culture that is both sustainable and environmentally conscious. Currently, policies including the National Conservation Environmental Management Bill and the upcoming ban on single-use plastics, with both intending to be authorized in 2024, amplify the desire to accomplish the Federation’s mission.

There is no denying that recycling is leading the charge in the fight to secure an eco-friendly and sustainable future for our citizens and island.

As we celebrate World Recycling Day on 18 March 2024, let us acknowledge the
#RecyclingHeroes not only here within the Federation, but regionally and around the globe.

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