Media Release: Circular Economy encourages sustainable consumption

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by GIS

PLASTICS MAKE UP 22 PERCENT OF SAINT LUCIA’S DOMESTIC WASTE, AND CLOG LANDFILLS.

The Circular Economy is being regarded as a pertinent tool in Saint Lucia’s national development.

A panel discussion held on Monday, as part of Productivity Awareness Week, highlighted the model’s usefulness to sustainable development. The Circular Economy promotes the recycling and reuse of existing materials for as long as possible. This serves as a sustainable means of addressing global issues such as pollution.

Sustainable Development and Environment Officer in the Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Jeanel Volney, detailed the components of the Circular Economy.




“As part of sustainable consumption, we look at ways to repurpose resources while sustainable development looks at satisfying the needs of the current generation without compromising the future of subsequent generations—it considers the environment, people, and the decisions that they make. The circular economy is heavily focused on the health of the environment,” she explained.

Ms Volney added that the Department of Sustainable Development is working to achieve efficient consumption and production through various means, such as the Styrofoam and Plastic Food Service Container (Prohibition) Act, that bans the importation of Styrofoam and selected single-use plastics, in order to reduce the quantity of plastic waste at landfills. Plastic waste currently makes up 22 percent of the annual total of 33,000 tons of Saint Lucia’s domestic waste.

Laurianus LesFloris, Acting General Manager of the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority provided an analysis of waste disposal and recycling in Saint Lucia.




“A 2019 waste analysis revealed that household organic waste makes up 45 percent of total waste. Plastics make up 22 percent. All of that waste eventually finds its way to landfills,” Mr. Les Floris said. “A major issue for us is waste management. The recycling sector is not developed in Saint Lucia, and this is one of our challenges. Recycling waste costs a lot, and in most countries this is paid for or subsidized by their governments. However, due to our fiscal position, government cannot assist with recycling. As a result, it is primarily led by the private sector.”

One of the initiatives established in Saint Lucia that promotes the recycling of plastics is the OECS RE-Plast plastic recycling project.

 

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