Five informational posters sharing facts about marine plastic litter are now hung in the arrival area of Princess Juliana International Airport. This In-No-Plastic initiative is aimed towards creating behavioral change in nature preservation. Tourists and residents arriving at the airport will be made aware of the island’s challenge to keep plastic out of its beautiful nature. St. Maarten struggles with enormous amounts of plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic bottles and much more being littered throughout the island.
Research in 2014, has shown that St. Maarten has the highest municipal solid waste of the Caribbean that is generated in Kg per person per day, which is 9.7 kg, compared to Curacao’s municipal waste of 0.44kg. This is for a country that has limited land space to create a new landfill location and our dump operating at maximum capacity for years.
At this moment plastic is found in the ocean, on the beaches and in other natural sites on St. Maarten. Plastic breaks apart into smaller and smaller pieces when left to the elements, but it never truly disappears. Nano plastic, tiny particles not seen by the naked eye, will end up in our soil, our drinking water, our air and our homes. This will cause unintended consumption of plastic particles by our residents which may impact our health. Research shows that 95% of U.S. residents over the age of 6 have plastic in their blood streams. How high that number is in St. Maarten is currently unknown.
The PJIAE N.V. agreed that it is time for change, if we want to keep enjoying our gorgeous island for generations to come. We must implement the change now because nobody will do it for us. According to Robert Swan, “The biggest threat of this planet is that someone else will save it!”. We can see this clearly on St. Maarten, therefore we must be the change!
“We are extremely thankful to the team at PJIAE N.V. which has been working with us for some time to help this vision become a reality. A large aspect of this project is helping to spread awareness to both the residents and visitors of St. Maarten. Being able to place these informational signs at the airport will ensure that this important message reaches as many people as possible,” said the Nature Foundation.
Nature Foundation’s In-No-Plastic team conducts monthly beach clean-ups with the assistance of local and visiting volunteers. We would love for you to join us on January 22, 2023, for our next event! For more information, please visit Nature Foundation’s social media or volunteer.sx.
The Nature Foundation partnered with @DCNA and In-No-Plastic to decrease the amount of plastic in St. Maarten. In-No-Plastic is a three-year project funded by the European Union in an H2020 research project. Learn more by visiting https://naturefoundationsxm.org/…/in-no-plastic-project/ or our previous social media posts on Facebook and Instagram about how you can help decrease the plastic in our environment.
Photo Caption (L to R) – PJIAE N.V. Non-Aeronautical Revenue Officer, Jovanka de Randamie, In-No-Plastic team Project Assistant, Zakiya Peterson of Nature Foundation, PJIAE N.V. Non-Aeronautical Revenue Manager, Maggie Gumbs and In-No-Plastic team Project Coordinator of Nature Foundation, Christel Horst.