Saint Lucia marks a major milestone in its efforts to address plastic waste with the inauguration of an innovative recycling facility. This plant, the first of its kind on the island, is now operational and is designed to efficiently recycle commonly used plastics.

Saint Lucia's inaugural waste recycling facility is now open to the public. The facility is dedicated to diverting high-density polyethylene (HDP) and polypropylene (PP) plastic waste from landfill. Instead, it reuses the plastic to make commercially viable furniture for the local market. This innovative effort is part of the Plastic Waste-Free Islands (PWF) project, a collaborative effort implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

IUCN and the Department of Sustainable Development jointly organized the recent launch and site visit of the waste recycling facility. Samantha Justin, technical director of the department, emphasized the importance of this initiative in Saint Lucia's plastic waste management and diversion program. She highlighted the importance of the plant facility in providing a crucial outlet to reuse plastic waste, contributing to the economic growth potential of local industries.

Transforming plastic waste into commercially viable products delivers positive outcomes such as a cleaner environment, job opportunities and income for local communities.

Renew St Lucia will oversee the waste-to-product operation. The facilities were officially handed over to Collins Lynch, who called on the private sector, especially hoteliers, to support the initiative. Lynch highlighted the versatility of reused materials, suggesting possibilities for outdoor tables and chairs. He urged the private sector to invest in the project, highlighting its potential as a marketing tool for entities committed to sustainable practices.

The waste-to-product recycling facility is the culmination of the PWF project in Saint Lucia, which focuses on promoting an island circular economy while addressing plastic waste leakage from small island developing states (SIDS). This latest initiative aims to create a positive impact by transforming plastic waste into valuable products and preventing its return to the ocean.