The United Nations Development Programme Representative for Barbados and the OECS has signed an agreement with the Government of Montserrat to support their desire to move away from the importation of plastic goods for the food and retail sectors.
Magdy Martinez-Solimon was on island for a three-day visit in which he met with government officials as well as civil society to learn more about their needs.
The official, who took up the role in June, presented his credentials to Premier Taylor-Farrell upon his arrival Tuesday. He said that he will be formulating a clearer programme of how his office will work to support Montserrat’s needs during his term. Martinez-Solimon said an immediate way that his office can assist the government is to source a supply of plastic alternative products.
He said Montserrat’s small size made it an easy win that could be activated in short order. The official intends to provide the island with an initial package of reusable bags, recyclable food and beverage containers and other paraphenalia to encourage businesses and consumers to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics.
“Our office message is Plastic or Planet. There is no in-between,” he told Discover Montserrat. He added that the burden of transitioning from a reliance on plastic has to be shared by all, as to do otherwise would leave the next generation an unhealthy and cluttered environment they must repair.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been working in the Caribbean since the 1960s. It focuses on poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS, democratic governance, energy and environment, and crisis prevention and recovery. The organisation also encourages the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women in all of its programmes.