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Sharon Rattan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 22, 2021 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Environment is consulting with relevant stakeholders to implement a ban on single-use plastics, following in the footsteps of several Caribbean countries that have already done so, said Sharon Rattan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, during her appearance on Working for You on April 21.

“One of the things that the ministry is endeavouring to do in 2021 is to make sure we have meaningful collaboration so that we can make informed decisions because we are quite aware that such a ban cannot be done overnight and we are now advocating a phased implementation ban,” said Permanent Secretary Rattan.

On April 16, the Department of Environment commenced the first in a series of consultations with respective stakeholders to ensure that the views of everyone concerned are reflected in the proposal to ban single-use plastics in St. Kitts and Nevis. The meetings will be held under the theme “Are you Ready to be Plastic Free?”

Ms. Rattan said that it is important to involve stakeholders to make informed and meaningful decisions.

“We need to hear from persons. Because it [plastic] is easily accessible, we need to look at what are the alternatives and we have to engage lots of persons in terms of where are we going to get these alternatives, are they readily available because one main issue we already know is that the duties on the alternatives are much higher which would take up the cost of production for business,” said Ms. Rattan. “So, this is why we have to have the talk because it affects behaviour and this is not a behaviour change that we would expect overnight, but we want meaningful talk to make meaningful decisions.”

A proposal to ban single-use plastics was submitted to the Cabinet and has received the blessings of the members, said Ms. Rattan.

“We are now taking the first steps in the broad intense consultations, and based on what we find there we would make some recommendations to Cabinet once again,” she said.

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