Van Veldhoven: support for a cleaner Bonaire

State Secretary Van Veldhoven has pledged to help Bonaire improve its waste management. EUR 2.78 million of financial support has been allocated to Bonaire for, among other things, the local recycling of waste.

Afval scheiden op Bonaire

88% of Bonaire's waste is currently deposited onto a landfill. This is not environmentally friendly or sustainable. To help the island improve separate waste collection and recycling, part of the financial support will be used to purchase refuse trucks and a crushing machine. The collection of small chemical waste, such as batteries and paint, will also be improved. Furthermore, Bonaire will look into measures to extend the separate collection of household waste.

Van Veldhoven: "Sending waste to landfill is not a future-proof option. Not for the environment, and not for a healthy island. Like other countries, we will guide Bonaire towards a circular economy where materials and products are reused and recycled as much as possible. We've already made a good start with initiatives such as waste recycling centres and reducing disposable plastic, but there's still a great deal that has to be done. We will continue to support the Caribbean Netherlands in its efforts. The refuse trucks, the crushing machine and efforts to set up separate waste collection regulations for household waste, are the first steps to make Bonaire cleaner."

Island Governor of Bonaire Edison Rijna: "The support that Bonaire will receive from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment to improve its waste policy, is a fine example of the collaboration between Bonaire and the Dutch government. The financial contribution pledged by State Secretary Van Veldhoven is a new step in our efforts toward a waste-free and clean Bonaire. It will enable Selibon to contribute significantly to our ambition of becoming a Blue Destination. We are very grateful to State Secretary Van Veldhoven for her support."

Separate waste collection

On the island, the waste of a large number of companies, such as paper and cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal packaging such as tins, is already collected separately for recycling purposes. Our aim is to do the same with the collection of household waste. For this, we need to reorganise our waste centre and provide citizens with targeted information and guidance. The development of plans and rollout are expected to occur in 2021.

End of disposable plastic

Last year, Van Veldhoven paid a working visit to Bonaire to, among other things, close the largest illegal dump of the Caribbean Netherlands and make agreements to phase out single-use plastics in the Caribbean Netherlands in 2021. The finishing touches are currently being put on a draft regulation to ban the first five single-use products.

An awareness-raising campaign will be launched at the end of this month. This is an important step to keep the islands clean, to prevent plastic soup and with this, to protect the nature on and around the islands.

Prevention of environmental damage

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management will support the environmental management efforts of the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba). This also includes making waste management more sustainable. To this end, the Dutch government will provide a total of EUR 10 million in financial support for the 2013-2023 period. In addition, to support the improving of waste management, Bonaire and the ministry are working on a sustainable solution for the collection and storage of waste oil of some 30 companies. Now that the Bopec oil terminal can no longer be used as a storage facility, this solution is a key step in preventing environmental damage. Furthermore, support will be provided with drafting modern environmental rules and regulations, a central information point for entrepreneurs will be set up and research will be done into the presence of harmful chemicals from sunscreen that can damage coral reefs.