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Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 18, 2019 (SKNIS): The Department of Environment in St. Kitts and Nevis is seriously considering banning the use of single use plastics.

Minister responsible for the Environment, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, spoke about the change in policy during the Budget 2020 debate, currently taking place in the National Assembly. He noted that members of the international community continue to lobby countries around the world to ban single use plastics as they pose a danger to the environment.

“Most of them do not degrade but instead breakup into tiny pieces and ultimately end up in our food chain,” the minister stated.

He added that any changes in St. Kitts and Nevis will be done over time to ensure a sufficient adjustment period. The period could be as long as five years before the plastics are phased out.

“This will allow local companies to retrofit and retool their companies to adapt to the ban,” Minister Hamilton said.

The ban of single use plastics has also been advocated for by the Ministry of Tourism in coordination with the Sustainable Destination Council. In July 2018 and 2019, the ministry hosted Plastic Free July, which educated residents on the ways plastic pollution threatens marine life, the environment, personal health and the tourism product.

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