THE end of the year is coming – and with it, the end of an era.
Single-use plastics are to be banned from the start of next year, but it seems clear that some retailers – and likely a number of consumers – are not ready for the change yet.
Among those not prepared yet is Centreville Food Store – whose owner back in April was asking “What can we do? We don’t have anything else for the people to put their groceries in”, and today is still saying he hasn’t made any kind of preparations because “so many other things have been on my mind”.
We hoped back in April that the government would reach out to the likes of Centreville Food Store with information about how they could make the transition – and we would reiterate that now. Time is short to make the change, and it’s going to be the law of the land, so the change will have to be made.
We would on the other hand applaud those businesses who have made their preparations – the likes of the Village Grocery Store which is looking forward to a smooth transition, or Variety Disposal Products, whose purchasing manager said they are already prepared.
With grocery stores using around 26 million plastic bags a year, this change will stop clogging up our waste sites, and stop bags floating through our seas to do harm to marine life.
We recognise the difficulty that it can bring for some businesses – but fair is fair, if some businesses have gone out of their way to make sure they are prepared, so should others.
Customers too should be prepared for a change to their routines. Carry your reusable bag to the store. Find suitable reusable containers for carrying food, rather than a throwaway Styrofoam box. And don’t gripe if you aren’t prepared and have to pay a little extra for a bag if you didn’t bring one.
The goal of this is to improve our environment – and a quarter here or there is a small price to pay to benefit us all.
Be ready – the change is coming.
Don’t welcome hate
“There is no need for the level of vitriol or prejudice that some may be putting (out there),” said Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest last month.
He was speaking after members of a group called Operation Sovereign Bahamas gathered outside Kendal GL Isaacs Gym to shout “Haitians go home” at the hurricane victims inside the shelter.
Mr Turnquest was right – and the vile actions of these protestors who decided to shout at those who had their homes destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, whether they were Haitians, Bahamians or from elsewhere, resonated internationally. Their protest was reported in the Associated Press, and on the Conversation website, among other places.
Not content with yelling at hurricane victims, Operation Sovereign Bahamas took to marching in front of the Haitian embassy last week. Leader Adrian Francis said not enough was being done to address immigration, and said “We have to punch the nation where it hurts the most”.
So it is with some surprise that we note that while the Deputy Prime Minister says there is no place for such vitriol or prejudice, the Immigration Minister opens the door to the group for what they described as a “very cordial meeting”.
According to Mr Francis, Elsworth Johnson “basically agreed on everything except the urgency in moving forward”.
Of course, we are only hearing one side of that meeting right now – so we urge Mr Johnson to give his own view of matters. Does he “basically agree” with the people who yell abuse at storm refugees? Does he reject the view of his own deputy leader?
Normalising this kind of behaviour encourages xenophobia, it encourages hatred – and we have already seen how it can affect the country’s reputation internationally.
At the moment, Mr Francis is being allowed to say what he wants about this meeting without contradiction – we should hear the other side.
After all, if the government is rejecting hate publicly but welcoming it in through the back door, what does that tell us about our nation?