Less Plastic, More SXM!

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Less Plastic, More SXM! 

Show your support towards banning single-use plastics on Sint Maarten / Saint-Martin. 

Just like the European Union and other islands in the Caribbean have done and many other countries are currently doing, we, The People of Sint Maarten / Saint-Martin need to see our island take the much-needed approach of banning single-use plastic products as soon as possible! This ban specifically targets single-use plastic bags, straws, cups, plates, cutlery and Styrofoam products. 

But in order to make this step, we as consumers, business owners, and visitors must take the first steps ourselves to show we are dedicated to changing our habits for the benefit of our island. 

A background study has been conducted by the Nature Foundation (see attachment below) on the feasibility of a single-use plastic ban. This study gives recommendations, including draft legislation, on how a ban would look like. 

Background and Considerations and Suggested Draft Legislation for Sint Maarten Ban the Plastics Legislation

The studies have been done. The time to act is now. This is crucial for the future of our island. We are falling behind, yet again, on environmental conservation initiatives in the region.

WHY BAN SINGLE-USE PLASTICS?

The effects of pollution on Sint Maarten / Saint-Martin are clearly evident, you see it everywhere you go. Trash lies alongside the roads, on our beaches and who can forget our ever-growing fire-starting mountain of waste called the dump, which is located in the center of our capital town right by the cruise-ship docking stations. 

Sint Maarten is the last Caribbean country to not have passed a plastic-ban law. It is the last red dot on the map created by the United Nations Environment Program (1). Styrofoam and Plastic bag bans in the Caribbean - Interactive Map

There are currently 8 million tons of plastic waste entering our oceans globally each year and this is set to double by 2025. By 2050, it's estimated that there will be more plastic weight than fish in our oceans, this includes styrofoam, straws, plastic bags, packaging, etc (2). 

Not-so-fun fact: according to the WWF, on average people could be ingesting around 5 grams of plastic every week, which is the equivalent weight of a credit card! (3)
Pollution is not only a risk to our environment but a risk to the economy of Sint Maarten / Saint Martin and the health of our communities:

  • Our land life, marine life, and sea birds are dying from plastic ingestion and strangulation (4).
  • Our kids are inhaling the toxic fumes from the dump fires (5).
  • and Our tourists are disgusted by the trash on our shores & beaches.

To ensure a safer, healthier, cleaner & more sustainable future for Sint Maarten/ Saint-Martin we must not fall behind where others in our region have already started taking measures.

WE WANT LESS PLASTICS, AND MORE SXM!

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

  • Sign to show that you support a single-use plastic ban for Sint Maarten/ Saint-Martin. 
  • Refuse single-use plastics at businesses when they are offered & do not buy them.
  • Reuse as much as you can & buy reusable products instead of single-use products.
  • Refurbish & Upcycle the products you already own or donate them to charity so someone else can reuse them. 

The ban on single-use plastic is an opportunity to drive innovation, create new industries and promote local manufacturing. While the ban is a great first step, it signals a larger conversation and action surrounding waste management and the promotion of a circular economy. It must be coupled with fines for littering and programs to support sorting at source (6).  

Together we CAN CHANGE our island for the BETTER and ensure a more SUSTAINABLE FUTURE for generations to come!

FUTURE STEPS

Thanks to your support, we will present your signatures to the Parliament of Sint Maarten & the Préfecture & Collectivité of Saint-Martin on Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 to show that we want to start the year 2020 with less plastics and more SXM!

Our objective is to get 10 000 signatures by Monday, December 30th, 2019 (including residents, the diaspora and international visitors).

Together we make it work! #LessPlasticMoreSXM

CONTACT

A Green Initiatives SXM Project

Nina Bijndorp, Event and Community Outreach Coordinator, Waste2Work, info@waste2work.com
Margot Mesnard, Partnerships Manager, Waste2Work, partnerships@waste2work.com
Sunita Mittal, CEO MyStraw Company, mystraw.company@gmail.com 
Photos by the Nature Foundation/ EPIC/ Waste2Work/ etc.

Video by Sunita Mittal, MyStraw Company

Translation by Nina Bijndorp, Margot Mesnard, Sunita Mittal, Gisele Gereaux


RESOURCES AND MORE INFORMATION:

About the ban in SXM:

Nature Foundation Link: 

Background and Considerations and Suggested Draft Legislation for Sint Maarten Ban the Plastics Legislation

1. Interactive Map UNEP, Styrofoam and Plastic bag bans in the Caribbean

Styrofoam and Plastic bag bans in the Caribbean - Interactive Map

2. Article UNEP, 3 June 2019, The Caribbean addresses the Scourge of Plastic Pollution with Help from the Cartagena Convention Secretariat

https://www.unenvironment.org/cep/news/editorial/caribbean-addresses-scourge-plastic-pollution-help-cartagena-convention-secretariat

3. WWF Plastics Campaign 2019

https://wwf.panda.org/get_involved/campaign_with_us/plastics_campaign_page/

4. Factsheet UNEP, July 2015, Plastics and Microplastics factsheet

https://www.unenvironment.org/cep/resources/factsheet/plastics-and-microplastics

5. Article Daily Herald, 13 September 2019, Real health effects of dump emissions not yet measured with any degree of certainty

https://thedailyherald.sx/islands/90879-real-health-effects-of-dump-emissions-not-yet-measured-with-any-degree-of-certainty 

6. Article Barbados Nation News, 20 June 2019, Plastic Ban 101

https://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240364/plastic-ban-101

More links:

Video to share in your community: Caribbean breaking up with plastics, from GEF-IWECO project, UNEP, Jamaica

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0FHWQSAP1M 

Interactive Beat Plastic Pollution infographics, from UNEP International

https://www.unenvironment.org/interactive/beat-plastic-pollution/ 

Report from the UNEP, 21 May 2019, Report on the status of styrofoam and plastic bans in the wider Caribbean region

http://gefcrew.org/carrcu/18IGM/4LBSCOP/Info-Docs/WG.39_INF.8-en.pdf

Report from the World Bank Group, 1 March 2019, Marine Pollution in the Caribbean: Not a Minute to Waste

http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/482391554225185720/Marine-Pollution-in-the-Caribbean-Not-a-Minute-to-Waste

Report from the UNEP, 2018, Single-Use Plastics: a roadmap for sustainability

https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/25496/singleUsePlastic_sustainability.pdf?isAllowed=y&sequence=1  

Future Agenda, Plastic Oceans, 2019

https://www.futureagenda.org/insight/plastic-oceans