ST. KITTS-NEVIS TOURISM OFFICIALS BELIEVE “A PLASTIC OCEAN” DOCUMENTARY CAN ENCOURAGE REDUCTION IN PLASTIC POLLUTION

Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 12, 2018 (SKNIS): Organizers of the “Plastic Free July” observance in St. Kitts and Nevis are confident that the screening of the 2016 documentary “A Plastic Ocean” will help to inspire behavioural and attitudinal change in residents and visitors that view the film.

The documentary chronicles the experiences of journalist Craig Leeson, who while searching for an elusive blue whale, discovers just how polluted the ocean is with plastic. This inspires him to team up with free diver Tanya Streeter and a number of scientists and researchers from around the world to explore the extent of plastic pollution and what solutions can be effected.

The film is being screened for free at the National Museum every Wednesday at 10 a.m. and Saturday at 11:15 a.m. during the month of July. The first screening on Saturday, July 07, attracted several persons, who reportedly enjoyed the 1 hour and 30 minute film. The second viewing this past Wednesday (July 11) mostly attracted excursionists from the cruise ship docked nearby at Port Zante.

Diannille Taylor-Williams, Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism in St. Kitts, said the film is very effective as it communicates the environmental and social impacts that plastics have on individuals. It takes a global view as it features 20 locations around the world. Mrs. Taylor-Williams said it was especially troubling to learn about “the plastic islands” that form in the ocean due to gyres, which are large systems of circulating currents.

“I was actually surprised to see there is one in the Atlantic Ocean, a huge one,” she stated on Wednesday’s (July 11) edition of the radio and television programme “Working for You.”

In fact, there are five major ocean-wide gyres according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – the North Atlantic Gyre, the South Atlantic Gyre, the North Pacific Gyre, the South Pacific Gyre, and the Indian Ocean Gyre.

“People want things to change but they don’t want to be part of that change,” Mrs. Taylor-Williams said, in commenting on the wide use of plastics in society. “They’ll want to tell you, I think we should do this and I think we should that, but when they are saying we, they mean I think you should be doing it, but the best way to create change is to be part of that change.”

“A Plastic Ocean” will give viewers a better understanding of the detrimental effects that plastic is having on the environment and how it threatens all life. Mrs. Taylor-Williams noted that Dr. Lisa Skerritt reached out to the Ministry of Tourism to schedule a screening of the documentary at the Shadwell Estate Great House on Thursday (July 12) at 5:30 p.m.

“If you want us to come and show it to your church group, we are willing to come and show it to your church group. If you have any other group [such as] the guys who play dominoes,” the tourism official said, noting that they are interested in partnering with groups and individuals to host screenings, particularly in the rural areas. Interested persons can contact Ms. Taylor-Williams at 467-1390 or email plasticfreeskn@gmail.com to make arrangements.

Persons who have seen the film were challenged to spread the message to their peers but more importantly to play their part in reducing the use of plastics.

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