The government of Sint Maarten recently announced that they will be banning single-use plastics beginning on July 1, 2021. The ban prohibits single-use plastic bags, plastic straws, and styrofoam food containers.
The government will be hosting a webinar — held for owners and managers of retail operations on the island — aptly named ‘Beyond a Plastic’ on May 6, 2021.
“Today, April 22nd, we recognize and celebrate Earth Day and the BEYOND A PLASTIC SXM team embraces this year’s theme ‘Restore Our Earth,’ which focuses on ‘natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems’ as a timely reminder for us join forces and do our part to protect our health, our livelihood, and our future. ‘A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity.’”
This is an exciting move towards sustainability for the government and people of Sint Maarten, but one that has taken a long time to actually implement. Member of Parliament, Sarah Wescot-Williams, initially presented a first draft of the ordinance to Parliament back in August 2018. Part of the delay in implementation was due to the work the Dutch-side government did to harmonize their proposal with the single-use plastic ban laws on the French side of the island. A show of solidarity and an effort to come together in addressing the needs for sustainable solutions on the island.
On November 3, 2020, the Parliament of Sint Maarten voted unanimously to approve the ordinance. Businesses that do not comply risk facing a fine of $1,000 and a six-month jail term. A sure sign that Sint Maarten is serious about this new law.
This commitment to sustainability on the island certainly deserves to be applauded. ???