Romauld Ferreira: Plastics ban ‘right thing to do’


ENVIRONMENT Minister Romauld Ferreira.



Minister of the Environment Romauld Ferreira insisted it was “the right thing to do” for the country to tackle the dependency of plastic use amid the public push back of the single-use plastic ban.

He gave remarks on Friday at the "Tackling Climate Change: What Italy & the European Union Are Doing to Help” forum hosted by the University of The Bahamas Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience Research Centre in partnership with the Embassy of Italy.

Mr Ferreira warned of the deadly effects that plastics had not only on the environment but on people’s health.

He explained: “We cannot talk about renewable energy, reducing our reliance on fossil fuel without tackling our dependence on plastics because it comes from that and the other big issue with plastics is that they all break down to microplastics. They all end up in the ocean and we’re on a trajectory to have more plastics in the ocean than fish.”

The Minister described how this affected The Bahamas: “And this is a local problem as well because many of us seem to think that these problems exist somewhere else out there and they don’t affect us. There’ve been numerous studies that have shown that microplastics are in the fish that we eat and that we consume. Seeing that we have some of the highest cancer rates in the world, this is the right thing to do.”

The 25 cent fee for plastic bags has been controversial, with Super Value Owner Rupert Roberts recently telling The Tribune that customers are disgruntled by the move.

The guest speaker at Friday’s event was the Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio who listed initiatives that have been taken in Italy –including becoming the first country to make lessons in climate change compulsory in schools.

And it Europe at large, the new European Commission's European Green Deal aims to achieve no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. 

Mr Varricchio spoke about the assistance Italy has given to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.

He said his fellow Italians were "deeply touched" by the tragic event but also "inspired by the resilience of the Bahamian people."

“Italy and the Bahamas enjoy long-standing diplomatic relations and a strong friendship,” the ambassador said. “So we worked as hard as we could to activate the channels of support both at the national level and through the European Union to provide help with aid.” 

He said that Italy and the Bahamas have a "deep conviction" to keep climate change on the global agenda as no nation "large or small, rich or poor" is "immune to the impact of climate change."

And Mr Varricchio noted one of his key messages to Italians was to encourage them to come to the Bahamas for business and tourism to help with the restoration.

Through the Italian government’s grant, Anatol Rodgers High School has solar energy which was implemented last year.


ohdrap4 3 years, 10 months ago

What Ban? I am using exactly the same number of plastic bags I have used in the many past years. I always reused grocery bags as garbage bags, now I just buy garbage bags. SAME AMOUNT OF PLASTICS.

I always avoided styrofoam containers and have my ow ceramic dishes.

Want to ban something? Have the cojones to ban soft plastic water and soda bottles.

I saw a woman the other day in a deli who brought her own reusable container to carry her drink. The employee said they had to put the drink in the plastic cup because they could not measure the quantity in the reusable container.

Most of the plastic in the sea is from fishing nets anyway.


Dawes 3 years, 10 months ago

But a huge number of people are using their own bags etc, so there has been a large change in the number of plastic bags being issued. That you haven't changed is small compared to most of us.


geostorm 3 years, 10 months ago

Agreed, @Minister Romi. The plastic ban is the right thing to do. Once we have gotten our people used to the concept, introduce recycling. Teach them to separate their garbage for the purpose of recycling. Introduce the blue garbage bins. We have to do our part as a nation toward maintaining our planet.


bahamianson 3 years, 10 months ago

Remould, it is not the right thing to do because we are doing it under pressure from the United Nations and their 2030 development Agenda. You did not do it because the Bahamas needed it, you did it because your bosses in The United Nations told you to have it done by a deadline.Stop deceiving the public and tell the truth.


birdiestrachan 3 years, 10 months ago

This man does not know right from wrong.

This Government aim is to tax the poor and make the rich richer.

bio gradable bags are the answer. plastic garbage bags large and small can be purchased has he seen the plastic bottles?

He reminds me of a character in Dark Shadows. The FNM Government is making life very hard for the poor. who all ready has so little.


Dawes 3 years, 10 months ago

And yet your party will not commit to getting rid of this ban if they would be reelected, which means they agree with it. So you need to complain about your party too then,


xtreme2x 3 years, 10 months ago

Heading should read "Some Plastics Ban " . Cause plastics are still available in stores. Water, drinks,rice and a shit load of other stuff are being sold.


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