PHILIPSBURG:— Simran Hotwani & Celine Mayeko-Coklee of Creative Hands recently met with President of Parliament, Sarah Wescot Williams, to share their proposal on eliminating the use of plastic bags through the use of individually-designed reusable canvas shopping bags.
The students learned of the MP’s proposal to ban plastic bags and were elated to share their project that supports this initiative with the Chairlady of Parliament.
Creative Hands is a student-developed, non-profit organization that aims to encourage youths to artistically solve some of the island’s current issues, such as pollution.
MP Wescot has been working on a draft initiate law to amend the police ordinance to ban the use of plastic bags. In doing so, the MP has received the support of the Nature Foundation, a long-time advocate of this ban. The initiative is modeled after Aruba’s ban on plastic bags, which was also legislated in that island’s police ordinance. Following the MP’s disclosure on her efforts, she also received support from Aruba for this initiative and has been provided with the communication plan used by our sister island of Aruba.
“The ban on plastic bags, while long overdue needs to be carefully crafted and ‘marketed’, taking our own specificities into consideration. To make this work, we need the buy-in of the entire community, as it would be impossible to control everyone and every place.”
Creative hands shared their hopes to be part of the solution and being able to “create an environment where creativity and ecological awareness meet.” In their words: “change starts with our youth and our intent is to educate the children of St. Maarten on the importance of being aware of their environment and provide art therapy through the means of decorating recyclable grocery canvas bags and promoting recycling.”
MP Wescot: “This is the kind of partnerships we need to gradually bring about the change that will benefit not only us but generations to come.”