Minister of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Dr. Gale Rigobert announced recently that the Department of Sustainable Development is embarking on a strategy to eliminate single-use plastics, polystyrene and expanded polystyrene locally in collaboration with the Department of Finance, the Ministry of Commerce, the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority, and the Customs and Excise Department.
In a letter to Dr.Rigobert, SLHTA CEO Roderick Cherry assured the Sustainable Development Minister that members of the Association are fully committed to collaborating with Government and other public and private stakeholders to phase out single-use plastics and eradicate plastics pollution and its harmful effects on St. Lucia’s natural environment.
“Our members are deeply concerned about the serious hazards caused to St. Lucia’s natural environment by plastic waste, including severe flooding and the littering of our beaches and coral reefs. We all agree that we have a responsibility to make changes in our daily operations to reduce plastic pollution,” said Mr. Cherry.
Over the years, the SLHTA has strongly advocated the enactment of legislation to promote the reuse or recycling of plastic containers.
A number of local resorts have already introduced environmentally friendly, sustainable practices and received international certifications ranging from Green Globe, EarthCheck, LEED to Trip Advisor Green Awards and Travelife Gold Certifications.
The SLHTA has also been an active supporter of environmental-protection initiatives in the community, including beach and coastal clean-ups. “In recent years we have placed increased focus on ensuring that the tourism and hospitality industry make a strong impact on the environment and on communities,” said the SLHTA CEO.
He added the Association firmly believes that sustainable tourism is essential for the industry’s long-term viability and eliminating single-use plastics and plastic waste is a step in the right direction. The SLHTA plans to engage with Government to advocate for duty free importation of plastic substitute utensils and eco- friendly packaging alternatives to mitigate the higher cost associated with plastic reduction.
- Countries: St_Lucia