St. Maarten Nature Foundation Intern Grace Hansen (standing, background) giving a presentation on plastics and the environment at Leonald Connor School in Cay Bay.
PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten Nature Foundation said it will give presentations to primary school pupils in the coming months about the impacts of garbage on the environment and the need to reduce single-use plastics.
According to the foundation, part of its mission is to educate the public on the environmental impacts associated with single-use plastics, which it believes is being accomplished through its ongoing “Reduce and Reuse” project.
“Education is the key and it is important to visit local schools, businesses, and communities to spread awareness about the harm of plastics to our environment, the significance of a single-use plastics ban and how to reduce your own single-use plastic consumption,” said the foundation on Wednesday.
St. Maarten Nature Foundation Intern Grace Hansen has developed a 45- to 60-minute presentation “to bring to schools and encourage greener habits.”
“We must get the attention of children in school because it is their future that is directly at risk. Kids their age [in other parts of the world – Ed.] are already seeing trash wash up on their beaches. Their swimming water is polluted, and they are forced to either avoid playing in the ocean completely, or risk infectious diseases that can be carried by plastics, wastewater and other trash.
“If we do not act soon, children on St. Maarten may have a similar future. It is also our duty to take responsibility [for] our actions and clean up the planet,” said Hansen.
Of all marine life, 96 per cent is vulnerable to plastic pollution each year, as they ingest and get tangled in floating debris, said the foundation. “Though trash may be discarded properly, it still ends up in our oceans every day. Through wind and storm water runoff, our waste enters and kills thousands of animals each year.”
According to St. Maarten Nature Foundation, the Dutch side alone uses more than 1.4 billion plastic straws per year. If current global trends continue, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050, said the foundation.
“There are many alternatives to single-use plastics. However, it is a behavioural change among people themselves that is going to solve this problem. Raising awareness of the harmful impacts of plastics is important in creating a community of pollution fighters that will protect and restore the environment,” said the foundation in a press release. “St. Maarten is a beautiful island that attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. Nature Foundation wants to keep it that way. The community’s help in cleaning up and reducing plastic waste will go a long way in ensuring the preservation of the beauty St. Maarten is known for.”
Interested schools, businesses or other organisations can schedule a presentation by contacting Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/92494-nature-foundation-to-give-presentations-on-plastics