BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- The Department of Environment is focusing on banning the use of single-use plastics in St. Kitts and Nevis to reduce pollution and the demand for plastic production.
“The conversation has started with regards to the banning of single-use plastics and it is a conversation that must continue,” said the Minister of Environment, the Honourable Eric Evelyn, during the September 29 edition of ‘Leadership Matters.’
He commented on Caribbean islands that have banned the use of single-use plastics, noting that St. Kitts and Nevis must act now.
“St. Kitts and Nevis must take this very seriously and we must move expeditiously to ensure that very soon we will have single-use plastics banned,” said Hon. Evelyn. “It will be done in stages; this will have to be in a phased approach. The Department of Environment will have consultations with the various stakeholders; we will have to do a lot of public relations to have everyone on board.”
Minister Evelyn said that plastics cause major damage on land and the marine environment. Reflecting on the Annual Coastal Clean-up organized by the Department of Environment, the minister indicated that in 2019, participants for the clean-up in St. Kitts collected 2,353 plastic pieces, 1,341 plastic bottles and 1,252 plastic bottle caps. Similarly, in Nevis, 2,285 plastic bottles, 1,841 plastic bottle caps and 717 plastic pieces were collected.
The minister stressed the need and importance of paying great attention to the beaches, as the cleanliness of the beach environment is beneficial to all.
“There is a lot of garbage at our beaches that end up in the sea, and it is bad for marine life. The marine life consumes the plastics and they get into the food chain. We in turn ingest those micro plastics and these can lead to cancer,” concluded Hon. Evelyn.