Statement by Dominica Consumer Protection Association on World Consumer Rights Day 2020

WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY is celebrated World Wide on March 15, 2020, with the aim of promoting SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION. The objectives are to increase resource efficiency and fair trade while helping to alleviate poverty and enable everyone to enjoy a good quality of life with access to food, water, energy, medicine and more.

The Dominica Consumer Protection Association will commemorate World Consumer Rights Day on March 17th 2020 by executing Phase 3 of the Pilot Solid Waste Management Project. Phase 1 of the project focused on education via public meetings, in phase 2 the Association handed out bins for Waste Separation in the Community of Tarreau.  Phase 3 we will hand out compost bins to the community of Tarreau in an effort to reduce the amount of solid waste going to the landfill and hereby align with the World Theme, Sustainable Consumption. To end the month-long activities the Dominica Consumer Protection Association will convene a national stakeholder Forum at Jungle Bay Eco Resort on March 30th, 2020.

The Dominica Consumer Protection Association is hereby calling on Government to make it easier for citizens to make more sustainable and ethical choices, in order to reduce consumption and the strain on valuable resources, also to come up with schemes and policies to support recycling and subsidize environmentally friendly or carbon-neutral, homegrown products.

Dominica’s private sector also has tremendous responsibilities in promoting sustainable consumption. Consumers need to be provided with clear and reliable information about product sustainability. Information must not be misleading,  to allow consumers to be empowered and enabled to make an informed choice. They must invest in new technology such as electric vehicles, new innovation to recycle clothing, plastics and glass bottles, development of sustainable packaging and building products that last.

Consumers must be well informed on matters of competition and standards with regards to food and services so as to take sustainable actions which can impact their health and environment positively. They need to take actions which reduce the incidence of chronic diseases. These include the purchasing of organic vegetables and fruits, composting of biodegradable waste, the establishment of backyard farms, promotion of renewable sources of energy, effective management of solid and liquid waste and participation in recycling methods of waste.

We must come together to deal with the issue of sustainability. As consumers, we have enormous power in the purchase choices we make and how we use and dispose of the waste left behind from these purchases, but also in our ability to influence the whole system from production and manufacturing to packaging and disposal.

We have to demand more from supply chains by calling for more sustainable products and services. We also have the power to ensure that the impact of sustainable purchases we make doesn’t end as we leave the shop but our sustainable products have the infrastructure behind them to increase their life and usefulness, whilst contributing to economic development and prosperity in Dominica.

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