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Plastic free St. Kitts: Ministry of Tourism educating people to be good destination stewards

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BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, August 3, 2022 (MMS-SKN) — Plastic Free July March, held on Friday, July 29 in Basseterre, brought down the curtains on the successful St. Kitts Plastic Free July (PFJ) 2022 activities put on by the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council of the Ministry of Tourism.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Mrs Carlene Henry-Morton, who led the participants as they trekked from Five-Ways to West Independence Square via Cayon Street instead of the previously advertised route via Central Street, said that a survey was conducted at the end of the march to hear recommendations of the local people as it relates to the sustainability of St. Kitts and Nevis as an environmentally friendly destination.

“We are genuinely interested in hearing from our locals,” said Mrs Henry-Morton. “What are their recommendations, what are their ideas, what are the challenges that they are having, and the ways in which they think the Ministry can work even harder to look after the environment, to make sure that we educate and train our local people to be good destination stewards.”

While the Plastic Free July March was the last activity on the St. Kitts Plastic Free July (PFJ) 2022 calendar of activities, other related activities are slated for the rest of the year as the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council of the Ministry of Tourism continues to promote the island as a viable destination.

The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis which through the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council of the Ministry of Tourism first participated in the ‘Plastic Free July’ campaigns in 2017 held this year’s activities under the theme ‘Be part of the solution – help end plastic pollution’.

According to the Permanent Secretary, the idea of the Ministry in implementing the initiatives and programmes is to “educate our people; train our people so that they are the best destination stewards that they can be.”

While the initiatives and programmes have been organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Mrs Henry-Morton applauded the input, assistance and coordination by the Ministry Education through which a number of preschools took part in the march, and the Department of Environment who participated in the march.

Preschools that took part in the march included Bright Sparks Academy whose children led the march from the start to the end. Others were McKnight Day Care, Victoria Road Preschool, Wings of Love Preschool, and Industrial Site Day Care.

“We had a number of private individuals, parents and a lot of persons who came up to support us,” said the Permanent Secretary. “We are eternally grateful and we look forward to them supporting all of the other initiatives that we are going to put on for the rest of the year and in the years ahead.”

Sustainable Tourism Coordinator in the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism, Mr Kenney Manning, said that the march turned out pretty well with a very good turnout, and he too thanked the Early Childhood Unit for the participation of the preschoolers, just coming out of the 37th celebration of Child Month held in June, that was held under the theme ‘Recycle: Save the Earth for our Children’s Future’.

“We also had several organisations such as the Ministry of Environment, who are the ones that are promoting the legislation to ban the single-use plastics,” said Mr Manning.

Others included the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Tourism staff, Department of Co-operatives, St. Kitts Nevis Youth Parliament Association, St. Kitts-Nevis Amateur Radio Society, Sunset Reef, Clean Seas, the Police, and Department of Youth among others.

He also thanked the Urban Development Unit for giving them permission to use the Square, and partners of the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, who in one way or the other assisted not only in the Plastic July March, but in all the other St. Kitts Plastic Free July (PFJ) 2022 activities. He in particular mentioned Tappwater Caribbean/Espo Water Solution who provided Plastic Free July March participants with filtered water at the Independence Square.

According to Mr Manning, other members of the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council at the Plastic Free July March were, Chair Mrs Diannille Taylor-Williams, Ms Sara Ramirez, Mr Javid Buchanan, Ms Johneal Harvey, Mr Royden Isaac, Ms Lynelle Bonaparte, Ms Goldha Franks, and Ms Kathy Rouse.

“While the march will be the culmination of Plastic Free July activities, our activities are going to continue,” said Mr Manning. “We are going to have Plastic Be Gone activities and in fact next month (August) we are going to launch a more substantive survey.”

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