EDITOR, The Tribune.
I was pleased to read in The Tribune on Friday, January 26, that the environment minister plans to take to Cabinet a proposal to ban plastic bags in the Bahamas.
A recent study over four years of 125,000 corals in 150 reefs in Asia-Pacific revealed that the coral that was in contact with plastic debris had an 89 percent chance of having three diseases.
Others research has found plastic in the stomachs and bodies of sea creatures.
Plastic pollution is killing sea creatures and sea life and polluting our food.
Our biggest use of plastic bags in the Bahamas is at retail stores – especially grocery stores. This is very unnecessary.
Reusable bags should be how we carry things out of stores. If you just want one or two items, carry those out in your hands. If you are doing more shopping, bring reusable bags and transport your goods out of stores that way.
In grocery stores people sometimes leave with more than 20 plastic bags – we like to double them in The Bahamas – per trip. These bags end up in landfills causing contamination, or in our seas, again, causing contamination.
According to The Tribune story, the Bahamas Plastic Movement, an environmental non-governmental organisation, is pushing the proposed plastic bags ban. I’ve not heard of the group but I wish its members well in continuing to lobby for this important move by our government.
The food store companies should take a lead in this even before the government progresses to a ban. It costs these companies lots of money to buy all the plastic bags they do each year. If they would stop offering plastic bags and instead sell reusable bags and encourage customers to bring their own bags, they’d save money, boost profits and help the environment.
As consumers we too could do better. With or without a ban we could bring bags to stores to carry out the items we purchase. It’s simple and easy.
We live in a beautiful country surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful waters. We have a responsibility to protect what we have. We should cut down on all this unnecessary plastic waste.
MARTHA S GREENE
January 26, 2018.