Once again, Vigie Beach bears evidence of ineffective education and awareness campaigns, undertaken by the private sector, government agencies, environmental groups and concerned individuals in reducing plastic pollution.
Patrons to the beach, noted after the passage of Tropical Storm Bret unsightly images of plastic bottles littering the southern end of Vigie Beach.
This raised concerns over the impact of awareness and education campaigns and the level of commitment of the public and private sector in tackling the issue of plastic pollution in rivers and waterways across the island.
One beachgoer suggested that the government consider incentivizing companies importing plastic bottles and consumers who dispose them to play an active role in getting plastics out of the environment.
The OECS Commission recently drafted an Incentive Framework aimed at encouraging private sector involvement and investments in efforts to reduce marine litter in the region.
This was done through ReMLit – the Reduction in Marine Litter Project. It is anticipated that an Incentives Framework designed by ReMLit consultant, Philip Dalsou, could excite businesses to play a part.
He noted that currently, each OECS government has its own set of incentives, so some harmonization is needed. A successful model was found in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A company in St. Vincent and the Grenadines called All Islands Recycling diverts 1 million plastic bottles from the environment every month. In the process it has created 600 jobs – 60% are women – all being paid for harvesting plastic bottles from the environment.
Sadly, the owner Dwight Hillocks passed away in October last year.