The Nature Foundation St. Maarten is proud to participate in the In-No-Plastic project, which uses a variety of social and technical strategies to remove and reduce marine plastic litter. This EU initiative runs from 2021 to 2023, focusing on innovative approaches towards the prevention, removal, and reuse of marine plastic litter.

The Nature Foundation will practice various social strategies to reduce plastic use on St. Maarten. While the issue of marine plastic litter – plastic debris that ends up in the ocean – is global, a large amount of local single-use plastic ends up on St. Maarten’s waters and shores, emphasizing the need for consumer education. The In-No-Plastic project will utilize a reward-based initiative that relies on crowdsourcing to help reduce plastic consumption. One such example is a smartphone app, produced by Empower, that will help St. Maarten’s community members record the amount of litter picked up and provide a variety of incentives for the user.

In-No-Plastic’s technical approach compares the existing plastics removal methodologies with several developing technologies at varying testing sites in Europe and in the Caribbean. Keeping in line with the duties of the project, the Foundation will continue to host and attend litter clean-ups around the island. Additionally, we will monitor and test ocean and lagoon water for microplastics every six months. The results from this water testing would show whether amount of microplastics in the water reduces at the same rate as the macroplastics, which are removed during community clean-ups.

Given the increased focus on clean-ups and single-use plastic education during this project, the Foundation hopes to see a reduction in both large and small pieces of plastic.

The In-No-Plastic project is comprised of an association of 17 partners and 10 different countries in Europe and the Caribbean. The Nature Foundation will work alongside the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), a participating partner. In-No-Plastic began in October 2020, and is a three-year project funded with a 7.4 Million Euro grant from the EU H2020 research project, funded under the call ”Pilot action for the removal of marine plastics and litter,” Topic ID: CE-FNR-09-2020 (Grant Agreement 101000612).

Get Involved

Volunteering

Are you interested in participating in the In-No-Plastic initiative? We are looking for volunteers to monitor beaches for litter and help clean up plastic pollution from the shores. Fill out the volunteer form so you can be added to our email list when volunteering opportunities arise.

Individuals

  • Download the app (to be announced)
  • Pick up trash and recyclables and dispose of them correctly
  • Say no to single use items and invest in reusable items

Businesses

  • Offer discounts/points on app for people who pick up trash
  • Do not offer single-use plastics at your business
  • Offer reusable products where available

For more information about how you can get involved with In-No-Plastic, email projects@naturefoundationsxm.org.

Did you know?

St. Maarten has the highest municipal solid waste level out of any island in the Caribbean: 9.7 kg per capita per day, compared to Curaçao’s waste generation of 0.44 kg per capita.