BAIC urges artisans to exploit plastic bag ban

The Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) says straw artisans can exploit the ban on single-use plastic bags to increase their own sales by creating alternatives.

Debbie Strachan, BAIC's acting general manager, said it will when promote the ban when its Farmers Market series resumes on January 18 in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Housing.

"As the talk began on the initiative last year to ban plastic, we had a mega Farmers Market where we were able to introduce reusable bags to our patrons and we gave away hundreds of bags on that particular Saturday," Ms Strachan said.

She added that BAIC has been selling straw tote-shopping bags at the Farmers Market, and many patrons used that opportunity to prepare for the plastic ban. Ms Strachan said BAIC saw this as a way to help Bahamian artisans increase their sales through replacing single-use plastic bags with handcrafted straw tote bags

Two artisans working to fill orders for straw shopping bags are Agatha Mackey and Keisha Pratt.

Ms Mackey said persons involved in plaiting straw will benefit tremendously, and added: "I think it is going to be an exciting time going forward because it is another earning capacity for artisans, and it will take the straw industry to another level because there will be a demand for the bags."

Ms Pratt said: "I have already had orders come in for extra large bags with style, colours and class.... We are going to implement it step by step. We are going to get it done and it's going to be good."

The Environmental Protection (Control of Plastic Pollution) Act 2019 came into effect on January 1. The Act mandates that companies have until June 30, 2020, to run down their inventories of the banned products on the condition that the single-use plastic bags are sold to customers for a fee between 25 cents to $1.


gbgal 2 years, 7 months ago

When I was a child in Nassau in the 50s there were no supermarkets. The ladies or the gentlemen went to the main market on Bay Street to shop for meat, fruit and vegetables taking their big straw baskets to carry everything. The vendors used brown or white butcher paper and paper bags to secure their wares for the customer who put them into their baskets to carry home. Looks as if we need to get back to these sustainable activities including the supermarkets!


gbgal 2 years, 7 months ago

I should have said that persons did not buy huge amounts of food at any one time like we see coming out of the foodstore now. You bought fresh food as required according to your budget so one or two straw baskets could carry it. Perhaps this return to a considered and measured view of spending will force us to think twice...do we really need this enormous amount of food now? We might realise a return to saving more than we spend!


ThisIsOurs 2 years, 7 months ago

People don't have time to be going to the food store everyday... Stay at home spouses can do that but persons working long hours, 2 jobs, catching the bus etc etc dont have time for it. I really feel these guys are just listening to the 10 people sitting around the table in everything. They implement what works for them. I heard a line in a pretty horrible series the other day, the town leadership was discussing need for additional revenue: "increase taxes! of course "we" here won't have to pay. and if they complain they're in water up to their necks, I say let them be glad they have water!". That's the attitude I see coming from the top on all these decisions. You can't argue with people who are drowning that they need to be progressive. You need to help them out the water first, tgen you can talk about swimming lessons and ask them about things like life goals and all the pollution in that water

Talk to some poor people and see how you can implement policies to help everybody or at least ease the burden. Don't tell them about high fallutin goals like plastic in fish, tell them you're gonna have to pay 4 dollars extra for plastic bags every time you go to the store or 12 dollars for enough reusable bags to carry everything and you need to take those bags with you everywhere you go. the foodstore, the bookstore, lunch, the printer, to buy school uniforms, tell them exactly what this will look like in their life. See whst their objections are and address them like these people are people you care about. ain't that's what MP'S supposed to be doing???


Sign in to comment