World Consumer Rights Day 2021
Nevis’ Department of Trade and Consumers Affairs (DTAC) joined its counterparts across the globe in the commemoration of World Consumer Rights Day 2021, celebrated annually on March 15.
The theme for this year, “Tackling Plastic Pollution”, aims to raise awareness against the use of plastic, which pose a major problem in environmental pollution.
Ms. Keeva Claxton, Consumer Affairs Officer at the DTAC, says the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem of plastic pollution.
“Now is a critical time in highlighting, addressing and tackling plastic pollution as the global COVID-19 pandemic adds to the rise of single use plastics, including wearing face masks, gloves, and food packaging.
“…The focus on sanitary care has resulted in an increase in single use plastics including food and e-commerce packaging coupled with the rise in protective gear,” she said.
Ms. Claxton suggested several ways households on Nevis can reduce their consumption of single-use plastics.
“Ways to reduce plastic pollution, just to mention a few- stop buying water in plastic bottles, cook more at home and buy in bulk,” she advised.
Other means of reducing the use of single-use plastics include storing left-overs in re-usable containers, using re-usable bags for grocery shopping, and not using plastic ware for meals at home.
The consumer movement marks 15th March with World Consumer Rights Day every year, as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights and needs. Celebrating the day is a chance to demand that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected, and to protest against market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights.
World Consumer Rights Day was inspired by President John F Kennedy, who sent a special message to the US Congress on 15th March 1962, in which he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights. He was the first world leader to do so. The consumer movement first marked that date in 1983 and now uses the day every year to mobilize action on important issues and campaigns.