SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – As of today, the Green Initiatives group launches a Call for Action against single-use plastics. Running from October 1st to December 31st, the objective is to show to the Government that Sint Maarteners are in favour of a ban on single-use plastic, and that solutions already exist on island.
The Green Initiatives group believes it is about time Sint Maarten passes and enforces legislation against single-use plastics. Sint Maarten is the last red dot on the map in the Caribbean, as most other Caribbean sister islands have already signed or implemented a ban on single-use plastic.
The Green Initiatives is a group formed with all environmentally friendly non-profits and businesses on the island of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin (Dutch & French). This group was created in January 2018 with the goal to collaborate and partner with each other to tackle the bigger issues involving sustainability on the island. All work is volunteer work.
The goal for this new Call for Action against single-use plastics is to obtain 10 000 signatures, from residents, the diaspora and international visitors alike. The Green Initiatives wants to show the Government of Sint Maarten that its People and returning tourists who love the island are in favour of such a ban. The Call for Action can be found on the international platform Change.org so that everyone and anyone in the world can sign to show their support: https://www.change.org/p/less-plastic-more-sxm
On December 31st, the Call for Action will be presented to the Parliament of Sint Maarten, and the Préfecture and Collectivité of Saint Martin. As per the motto around this movement, the Green Initiatives want to start the year 2020 with ‘Less plastics, more SXM!’.
Awareness and information events will be conducted until the end of the year in order to showcase the negative effects single-use plastics have. Nina Bijnsdorp, Coordinator for the Green Initiatives and Event and Outreach Coordinator at Waste2Work explains it clearly: ‘’Pollution is not only a risk to our environment but a risk to the economy of Sint Maarten and the health of our communities. Our land life, marine life and sea birds are dying from plastic ingestion and strangulation. Our kids are inhaling the toxic fumes from the dump fires. And our tourists are disgusted by the trash on our shores and beaches.’’
Instead of naming and blaming individuals or corporations, the Green Initiatives wants to highlight the positive side and the sustainable and innovative solutions that already exist in Sint Maarten as a replacement for single-use plastics. For instance, The Nature Foundation has been conducting research on businesses on the island that have switched to sustainable solutions instead of using single-use plastics, and they have also researched which distributors provide these sustainable solutions locally.
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