by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Parks and Beaches Department is vitally important in maintaining public green spaces, but Hon. Dr. Joyelle Clarke says Parks and Beaches workers are forced to execute an even greater role by collecting litter.
Dr. Clarke, The Minister of Environment, dispelled accusations rumoured about on social media, which brought the Parks and Beaches and the Department of Environment under scrutiny during the March 30 Prime Minister’s Press Conference.
“Now, I want to share a very short story as it relates to Parks and Beaches. Yesterday, I got a message, and someone said to me, “you know, there is this comment that the Frigate Bay road is full of plastic bottles and it’s as if we should not have made a change because there are so many plastic bottles and [also questioned] what are we doing? What is this Government doing?”
According to Dr. Clarke, after she assessed and questioned the situation, she concluded that residents of St. Kitts and Nevis need to make the necessary behavioural changes to protect the environment.
“Being an action minister, I immediately took a drive to Frigate Bay Road, and I observed something different. Yes, there were plastic bottles that were in between the trees, and they had them on the side of the road…It forced me to think of what really is the problem. Is it a problem that Parks and Beaches have to transition to collecting bottles from the side of the road, or is the real problem that Kittitians and Nevisians throw plastic bottles from their vehicles when they drive or leave plastic bottles in the fancy lookout corners and intimate spaces in St.Kitts and Nevis? We have a behavioural problem that Parks and Beaches is attempting to solve by not only cleaning our verges and green spaces but now collecting plastic bottles. We need behavioural change, and we need to do this collectively.”
The Minister expressed her gratitude and appreciation to the Parks and Beaches Unit “for continuously working to keep the environment clean.”
Meanwhile, the conversation on the littering of plastic bottles comes into discussion as the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, in collaboration with the Solid Waste Department and the Republic of China (Taiwan), builds out the Recycle SKN Project. The recent update to the project is that approval has been granted for installing a Plastic Recycling Plant at the Conaree Landfill in St. Kitts.
Individuals are advised to save their plastic bottles and other plastic materials so that they can be recycled.