A Science Fair project from a local school depicting the consequences of plastic on the environment.
PHILIPSBURG--United Democrats (UD) Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams said she is disappointed that government has to decide on the date when the law banning the use of single use plastic bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam containers, will go into effect.
“A year and a half after the date established by Parliament for the plastic bag ban to go into effect, I am still waiting to see concrete steps taken by government to put this ban into effect,” stated Wescot-Williams.
The law passed unanimously by Parliament banning single use plastic bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam containers should have gone into effect on July 1, 2021.
“It is only after this date and constant queries that government admitted not having ratified the law, due to government’s inability to put it into effect.”
The MP explained that on the request of government, she, as initiator of the law, amended it to give government the opportunity to put it into effect on a date feasible for government.
“The enactment therefore is with government. Numerous questions from me on this topic have been left unanswered. When amending the law to put the enactment date in hands of government, I asked about the implementation plan government had to put the ban in place,” she said.
“It was quite frustrating for me to visit a recent scholastic science fair and see the many project ideas from our young people regarding recycling, elimination etc. of plastic and other waste, and I not having an inkling of where things stand with our plastic ban. Again, [last week – Ed.], I asked the prime minister to provide me with a concrete overview of the implementation status of this law. In fact, I asked both the prime minister and the minister of justice regarding this as the ban is part of the Police Ordinance. The prime minister has a responsibility for the execution as well, as this ties in to the project ‘Plastic Free by 2023’, announced by government,” stated the MP.
“When I criticise the country package’s content and measures, it is because items such the protection of our environment are nowhere to be found. Enforcement in every area on St. Maarten is a challenge. And so, it also appears to be in enforcing the plastic ban. [Which is the] reason why our priorities must be clearly formulated and attended to. My request therefore, a repeat of what I asked in 2022 – to be provided with an update on the implementation of the ban on single use plastic bags etc. and on the project St. Maarten Plastic Free by 2023.”