Plastic is one of the major polluters to the environment and to combat this growing problem, the Ministry of Tourism has launched the “Plastic Free July” initiative to promote steps for solution to pollution.
While appearing on the government’s weekly programme, “Working for You” on July 11, Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Diannille Taylor-Williams, encouraged the public to reduce their plastic usage by implementing five key steps. These steps are reuse, refuse, reduce, recycle and repurpose.
She also highlighted that using reusable shopping bags and simply denying a straw for your drink are small ways that individuals can make a big impact in plastic reduction.
“Plastics would have been introduced into the Federation in a big way in the 1950s and 1960s so that number of plastic has been introduced into our environment. What we can do is help to remove the plastics that are already there because as you explained it takes 500 years to disintegrate and so we know that the plastic from the 1950s is still out there,” she said.
She also mentioned that the ministry and other environmental groups have been conducting beach clean ups and implementing programmes to reduce plastic use and to eliminate and repurpose some of the plastics that are presently accumulating on the island.
“We can do regular clean-ups of these areas so that we remove it. These are things we can do to eradicate the pandemic that is plastics,” she added.
Mrs. Taylor-Williams implored persons to be creative and find ways where they can reuse plastics. She gave the example of using plastic bottles as a watering mechanism for plants. She also said that the ministry is looking at partnering with other islands and businesses who have alternate uses for plastics.
Vanessa Webbe, Tourism Officer in Nevis, while agreeing with Mrs. Taylor-Williams said that “if we continue to spread the word of reuse, repurpose, reduce, and recycle, people will respond overtime.”