Government takes steps to end plastic pollution in marine environments
Thursday, July 21, 2022
by Department of Sustainable Development

To inform targeted planning, the Government of Saint Lucia has initiated a national source inventory exercise in order to strategically tackle plastic pollution and marine litter. Saint Lucia and most other countries are confronted with concerning levels of plastic pollution threatening marine ecosystems and economies. Citing the latest global assessment of marine litter and plastic pollution titled Pollution to Solution (2019), the UN Environment Programme highlights that plastic accounts for 85% of marine litter and warned that by 2040, volumes of plastic pollution flowing into marine areas will nearly triple, adding 23-37 million metric tons of plastic waste into the ocean per year. This year, Saint Lucia and other members of the UN Environment Assembly agreed on a resolution to end plastic pollution and forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024.

The Saint Lucian Government remains faithful in its commitments to address marine litter and waste management generally, progressing with a High-Level Meeting to develop a National Source Inventory on Plastic Pollution and Marine Litter and a Marine Litter Management Action Plan (ML-MAP) to be held at the Finance Administrative Centre on Thursday, 21st July 2022. This event follows a Technical Consultation Workshop held earlier this year in April. The development of a nationalsource inventory will enable officials to identify the most important sources of marine litter entering the environment, waterways, and coastal seas. The national inventory is expected to encompass statistics and databases on (plastic and other) product life cycles and flows, waste sources and streams, and data gathered through monitoring of freshwater and wastewater, coastal and marine environments. By bringing different data sources together, Saint Lucia’s selected approach will provide the basis for strategic action. In turn, a management action plan for marine litter management is under development to help build capacity and raise funding, map progress and identify existing frameworks and gaps, track compliance with guidelines, and be the foundation for inter-agency coordination.

Saint Lucia’s collaborative approach in the pursuit of a National Source Inventory on Plastic Pollution and Marine Litter and an ML-MAP is supported by the United Nations Environment Programme.