BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS — The second activity on the St. Kitts Plastic Free July 2022 (PFJ2022) calendar of events, the distribution of environmentally-friendly reusable shopping bags on Saturday July 2, saw hundreds collect the reusable bags, among them Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris, and Minister of Health the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett.
“We were quite pleased to have the Prime Minister of our country stop by at our location at the King’s Pavilion on the Bay Road,” said Chair of St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, Mrs Diannille Taylor-Williams. “He didn’t just pass, he stopped to engage with us and he himself took one of our reusable bags.”
The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis which through the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council of the Ministry of Tourism first participated in the ‘Plastic Free July’ campaign in 2017. This is the sixth year St. Kitts and Nevis is participating, and it is doing so under the theme ‘Be part of the solution – help end plastic pollution’.
“Also taking one of our reusable bags was Minister Akilah Byron-Nisbett and as Minister of Health it was very good to have her lead by example in taking the reusable bag because we do know plastic does have an effect on the health of the people as well as the health of the place,” said Mrs Taylor-Williams.
The Chair of the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council was joined by members of the Support for the Advancement of Future Education (SAFE) Volunteers Programme who assisted in collecting data on the usage of plastic bags even as they distributed the reusable bags to shoppers at the King’s Pavilion Supermarket on Bay Road in downtown Basseterre.
“We were quite pleased Prime Minister Harris and Minister Byron-Nisbett took time out of the activity they were engaged in, to participate in our activity and to give a sort of endorsement just by participating,” noted Mrs Diannille Taylor-Williams. “They did not say it, but by participating they would have given a message with respect to the use of reusable bags when persons are shopping.”
She said that she was quite pleased to learn also that the Prime Minister and Minister of Health would just have come from a visit to the Basseterre Public Market where they were encouraging people, citizens and residents, to buy locally from the local farmers, vendors and other producers.
“I strongly believe that that activity at the market tied in so much with what we were doing because you are buying from our local farmers and producers, the best place to put things would be in a reusable shopping bag,” reasoned Chair of the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council.
Other distribution points of the environmentally-friendly reusable shopping bags were at Ram’s Supermarket in Bird Rock, Valu Mart Supermarket on Wellington Road, B’s Enterprise in Sandy Point, and Fraites’ Supermarket in Molineux.
On Monday, July 4, PFJ2022 activities will continue with what they have termed ‘Spotted Campaign’, where businesses and persons that are making the change will be highlighted. They will be assisted by members of the public who have been asked to take pictures and tell a story on how and why the particular business/persons would have made change, and tag the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council @stkittssdc on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
The St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, whose motto is ‘Good for Us – Better for All’, is a cross-sector body that consists of representatives from government agencies, NGOs and private sector organisations, as well as other like-minded individuals. It facilitates collaboration around sustainable management issues to ensure that development preserves and benefits St. Kitts’ environments, cultural heritage, and community livelihoods. Together, they are working towards a future where community members actively contribute to destination health, while promoting the island’s distinctive identity.
PFJ2022 partners are St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council (SDC); Heart of St. Kitts Foundation; St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN); St. Kitts Department of Marine Resources (DMR); St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism; Clean Seas; St. Christopher National Trust; Holistic Education Research & Conservation (HERC); and Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN).
Other PFJ2022 partners are Department of Youth Empowerment; Tappwater Caribbean/Espo Water Solution; Solid Waste Management Corporation; St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Department of Environment; Sunset Reef Resort; Mother Becky Tea; Hand in Hand Security Services; Island Purified Water; Kittitian Hill/Belmont Farm; and Rotary Club of Liamuiga.