Plastic Free SXM

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St. Maarten faces a pressing environmental challenge: the widespread reliance on single-use plastics (SUPs) and polystyrene foam. These materials, driven by a booming tourism economy and a lack of awareness regarding their environmental toll, are ubiquitous across the island. From plastic bags and straws to foam food containers, these disposables, while convenient, pose severe environmental and health risks.

Unlike organic materials, plastics and foams don’t simply decompose; they gradually fragment into microplastics. These tiny particles wreak havoc on marine ecosystems, endanger wildlife, and have the potential to harm human health by entering our food supply and releasing toxic substances.

In response to this urgent issue, the St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF), on behalf of the Government of St. Maarten, is executing the Plastic Free Project.  Financial support for the project comes from the RESEMBID program, which is funded by the European Union and executed by Expertise France, the French government’s development cooperation agency. RESEMBID is dedicated to promoting sustainable human development across 12 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories, with St. Maarten among them.

How do we plan to bring about change?

Recognizing the need for a comprehensive understanding of the use and importation of single-use plastics and the adoption of greener alternatives in St. Maarten, we’re set to embark on a collaborative journey. In the coming months, we’ll engage with stakeholders from all sectors to gather data and insights. This crucial research will inform the development of effective policies and strategies aimed at reducing reliance on single-use plastics and enhancing environmental sustainability on our island. Here is how we plan to bring about change:

Strengthening Existing Legislation: We aim to enhance and build upon existing legislation, creating a more formidable legal structure that will phase out single-use plastics

Boosting Community Awareness: Our focus is to significantly heighten community awareness about the dire consequences of single-use plastics on both our precious environment and public health. Through education and outreach, we want to shift perceptions and behaviors, fostering a culture where every individual is a proactive guardian of our environment.

Gathering Actionable Insights: Central to our strategy is the commitment to gather comprehensive data on the current status of single-use plastic usage and the community’s openness to sustainable alternatives. By understanding the pulse of our society, we can tailor our approaches to resonate more deeply with our community’s needs, ensuring our initiatives are both impactful and enduring

How to get involved?

We recently concluded a productive town hall event on Monday, March 18, from 6 PM to 8 PM at the University of St. Martin. This significant gathering brought together local businesses, organizations, and individuals passionate about minimizing single-use plastic consumption and keen on understanding the implications of legislation aimed at phasing out single-use plastics. The forum offered a deep dive into our continuous efforts to collect and analyze data on plastic usage, emphasizing the importance of community involvement through household visits conducted by our team. These efforts are vital in crafting effective strategies to lessen the environmental impact of single-use plastics. We invite you to stay alert for future events of this nature. If you’re drawn to the cause or interested in forging partnerships, we warmly encourage you to get in touch. For further inquiries or to express your interest in upcoming initiatives, please feel free to contact us directly.

Stay updated by following us on our social media channels @PlasticFreeSXM (on Facebook and Instagram), or feel free to reach out to us with any questions via email at