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Posted: Friday 19 April, 2024 at 10:23 AM

Minister of Environment warns about health risks associated with microplastics

Google Photo: Just one piece of ingested plastic gives a turtle a 20 per cent chance of dying from it, and the risk is even greater for young turtles, as well as humans
By: SKNIS, Press Release

    Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 12, 2024 (SKNIS): During her recent appearance on InFocus on April 11, Minister of Environment in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke, cautioned citizens and residents about the health risks associated with plastics. 


    Citing a scientific example, Minister Clarke noted the discovery of tiny microplastics in people’s arteries. This she said is cancer-causing and is incredibly detrimental to one’s health. 


    She emphasised that plastics enter our bodies through various methods including consuming sea animals. 


    “We consume the same animals from the ocean that consume plastics and we inhale microplastics,” Minister Dr. Clarke said. “No matter how much you eat fish and avoid pork or how much you eat vegetables and avoid processed food, you are picking it up in the environment because of how it is connected.”


    Dr. Clarke stressed that safeguarding the Federation's environment is both an international obligation and a matter deeply affecting the local community. She noted a positive trend in local festivals, with a shift from single-use plastic cups to branded reusable ones.


    Additionally, Dr. Clarke mentioned ongoing efforts by local vendors to find alternatives to single-use plastics, including discussions with international retailers to procure bioplastic alternatives. 


    She also urged citizens and residents to consider the future of the nation as a collective responsibility, ensuring that future generations can also enjoy the beauty of the Federation.


    In line with these concerns, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis implemented a three-phased ban on the importation, sale, and distribution of several single-use plastics. This initiative was introduced in Parliament on March 26, 2024.






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