Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 01, 2020 (SKNIS):
Banning the use of single-use plastics reduces pollution and the demand for plastic production. Against this backdrop, the Department of Environment is focusing on banning the use of single-use plastics in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“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’, a virtual forum on ZIZ TV.
He commented on the Caribbean islands that have since banned the use of single-use plastics, noting that St. Kitts and Nevis must act now.
“We here in St. Kitts and Nevis as a nation must take this very seriously and we must move expeditiously to ensure that very soon we will have single-use plastics being banned,” he said, adding that it will be done in stages. “This will have to be in a phased approach and, of course, the Department of Environment will ensure that we have consultations with the various stakeholders; we will have to do a lot of public relations to have persons 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 cleanup in St. Kitts collected a total of 2353 plastic pieces, 1341 plastic bottles and 1252 plastic bottle caps. Similarly, in Nevis, 2285 plastic bottles, 1841 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. Of course, the marine life takes in the plastics and they get into the food chain and we, in turn, will ingest those microplastics and, of course, these can lead to cancer,” he added.