The think tank to ban single-use plastics on Saba in 2020 had its introductory meeting last week Thursday, November 7.
Different stakeholders attended the meeting, including representatives of the business sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Public Entity Saba and local residents. Participants at the meeting discussed the parts that they consider most important about the ban on single-use plastics and what it wants to achieve as a think tank.
Policy worker of the Public Entity Saba Sarah van der Horn-Plante gave a short presentation, after which the members of the think tank were introduced. The members of the think tank, both residents and the business sector were positive about implementing a ban on single-use plastics. While some businesses were already in the process of banning single-use plastics, it was pointed out that a level-playing field is important.
Thursday’s meeting included a brain storm session to discuss important aspects such as what the ban should focus on, the objective and priorities of the ban, and what the conditions are in order for this ban to be successful. The think tank also discussed how this ban can be turned into something positive for the businesses.
The meeting took place in a positive atmosphere, while participants at the same time remained realistic. Participants not only looked at today’s situation with regards to this topic, but also the future, for example the implementation of upcoming technologies.
Also discussed were reusable products. For example, bringing one’s own coffee mug or reusable food container. Discussed as well was the so-called reversed vending system where people pay a small fee when they buy a plastic bottle, soda/beer can or a glass beer bottle, and get a refund when they return this product.
The single-use plastic ban, when implemented in the course of the next year, will prohibit the import of items such as plastic bags, (Styrofoam) food containers, plastic/Styrofoam cups, plastic cutlery and straws. Biodegradable, more environmental alternatives, are available for all these harmful products which are bad for nature in general and which pollute oceans, rivers and beaches.
The government plays a big role in the implementation of the ban on single-use plastics. The moment to prepare for this ban is considered to be opportune, considering the support of the community.
During the next meetings, the think tank will discuss a draft plan for the single-use plastics ban, provide input for a communication plan and discuss possibilities to give the implementation a positive spin for the businesses. The think tank will meet on a regular basis in the coming months.
The think tank has a mixed composition with a wide variety of representatives, also in ages, in order to be as inclusive as possible. Some members of the think-tank were selected from a questionnaire that they filled in earlier this year. Interviews were also held with the stakeholders.