Antigua & Barbuda’s Revolutionary New Sustainability Model Could End Plastic Pollution


(Global Citizen)

Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has announced a new model for combating plastic pollution at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park on Sept. 28.

Browne announced in front of tens of thousands of Global Citizens that the country will become the first island nation to adopt environmental nonprofit Parley for the Oceans’ AIR system, which stands for avoid, intercept, and redesign.

The approach tackles plastic waste at its source, cleans up existing plastic pollution, and spurs new plastic alternative designs.

The prime minister said that his country faces a growing plastic pollution problem. Globally, up to 12 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year, causing widespread harm to marine ecosystems.

“Antigua and Barbuda has experienced firsthand the devastating impact of plastic pollution on our coastal communities and marine life,” he said onstage. “Our coolest island paradise is dedicated to being a blueprint for change by revolutionizing our infrastructure, education, and the economy.”

In many ways, the AIR model is a modern take on the “reduce, reuse, and recycle” mantra that sustainability advocates have used for decades.

With the help of experts, Antigua and Barbuda will embark on efforts to avoid plastic use in the first place. This will likely involve legislative restrictions on plastic production, collaborations with the business community to phase out plastics, and campaigns to encourage people to avoid unnecessary single-use plastics.

The island nation will also implement programs to intercept plastic waste that’s on its way to marine environments. Parley will set up collection devices in areas that are most likely to deposit plastic waste into the ocean, such as by rivers and landfills.

Browne said that the island — using a “recycling station that actually works” — expects to intercept approximately 27,000 tons of plastic by 2030, and “thereby helping eliminate plastic pollutants from our shores.”

Teams will also scour the waters surrounding Antigua and Barbuda to recover nets that have been dumped in the water. These improperly discarded fishing nets are called “ghost nets” because they pose such a grave threat to marine animals who often get tangled in and suffocated by them.

The last phase of the AIR system involves “redesigning” plastic, or finding alternatives to this ubiquitous material. Parley will fund researchers that are working on sustainable alternatives.

The organization already has a promising track record of developing cutting-edge materials. Over the past few years, Parley has developed a way of turning ocean plastic waste into fashionable items.

Browne was joined on stage by Cyrill Gutsch, CEO of Parley, who said that the AIR model should be adopted by countries both throughout the Caribbean, and around the world.

Browne reiterated his call to the global community: “Today, we are calling on other island nations to step up and become Parley Future Island Nations and commit to using innovative solutions to avoid, intercept, and redesign plastic in their nations.”




  1. How about ensuring that WIOC does not leak in a rain shower and get rid of high pollution level Bunker C fuel using generators to run the island. Stop the deforestation of Antigua and Barbuda and put a stop to people like YIDA destroying our environment and shore protection…Basically persons who wish to stand up and run their mouths on cleaning up plastic pollution need to genuinely clean up their own backyards first (in every aspect) which would enable making a speech that comes from actual genuine experience.

  2. Oh come on . What a fairy tale. Antigua doesn’t / can’t recycle Glass or Paper. It goes to cooks dump as land fill. Let’s fix that first hey. More empty promises .

  3. Jeb…Why are you sooooo PETTY ? You and Cleon Athill are the two most NEGATIVE Persons I ever came across. There is NOTHING that this administration do is pleasing to you Guys. You Guys are ROTTEN to the core.
    Think about the country and not about party. A Tourist just came back to the USA from Antigua. He was on vacation for two weeks. He told me that Antigua is the most progressive Island. He said the People are happy,dress very well,driving news cars , lots of CONSTRUCTION . Only The Observer crew, Cleon Athill and Jeb are doing a DIS-SERVICE to Antiguans. Hope you Guys
    give thanks for the wonderful Prime Minister Gaston Browne. God bless the Gaston Browne Administration.

    • I second that. But you will never ever get the detractors to change their ways. Even if you pave the roads with gold, they will still complain and say the gold is not pure enough

  4. Nor I, Carolyn. I recycle all plastics both in Dallas and Antigua. We also recycle glass and mixed paper here in Dallas but not in Antigua. That would be a great first step, in my opinion.

  5. Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “What natural responses would occur in the relationships, attitudes toward the environment, kinship patterns, … and historical referent points for People of African descent in the Caribbean if there had not been any intervention of colonialism or enslavement?” (Asante 1980)! The answer begins with “a revolutionary shift in thinking proposed as a constructural adjustment to black dislocation disorientation, decenteredness, and lack of agency,” and ends at a destiny – Building Solid Institutions and a Caribbean Civilization – which asserts the central role of Caribbean People within the context of Caribbean History!

    Clearly GoAB has decided to travel solo in a Tesla Model 3 along the Caribbean Highway and taking Exit 6 on the Antigua, Barbuda, Redonda and the NEMA North Sound Islands Off Ramp! No Engagement with OECS and/or CARICOM based Climate Change Initiatives!

    Given the prevailing North East Trade Winds, on which Rock will the Parley Air System Plant be located! Given the Visions to move to wind, solar power, wave generating technology, and/or geothermal energy, what will be the generating power source/medium!

    Finally we have a reason to firmly plant the flag on Redonda, complete with people and industry and not only the lowly “ghroung ghoul” (ground lizard), powered by wind and/or a payback from the People of Montserrat with geothermal energy over a distance of less than 17 miles or 27.5 km! No polluting industry on Antigua and/or Barbuda! The marooned goats will rue the day they refused to be airlifted to beautiful Antigua “where the beach is just the beginning” and not live in perfect harmony until the Parley Air System Development was planned, designed and implemented!

    “ALL: God save your majesty! CADE: I thank you, good people: all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers and worship me their lord. DICK: The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers. CADE: Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the (Life) of an innocent lamb should be made into (Goat Water”? that (potent stew) should undo a man? Some say the meat is “wrenk”: but I say, ’tis the food of wild champions; for I did but savour it once, and I was never mine own man since. How now! who’s there?” – Shakespeare: Henry VI!

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