A Bahamian furniture store is backing the government’s single-use plastics ban by offering complementary reusable bags to consumers as long as supplies last.
Oasis Furniture sad its bag campaign is part of a broader sustainability effort that it practices in various aspects of its operations.
“For the past two years since our opening, we’ve packaged our items in both paper and plastic bags. In a sense our use of paper bags gave us a head start on the implementation of the Act,” said Jennifer Treco, the company’s interior designer.
“We believe that practicing sustainability across the board will allow us to enjoy our country’s future. Upon purchase, our customers will now receive a simple, yet chic, black multi-purpose reusable bag.”
Based on 2010 statistics from plasticfree242.com, 51,000 tons of plastic are sold in The Bahamas every year. The Environmental Protection Act is now aiming to slash this significantly by eradicating the use of single-use plastic and styrofoam products.
The Act prohibits single-use plastic bags, styrofoam containers and cups, plastic utensils and plastic straws, labelled the “4-bidden-4”. The Ministry’s hope is that the 2020 plastic ban becomes an impetus for future environmental policies.
“We applaud the Ministry of Environment for its stance on, and implementation of, the single use plastics ban,” said Brooke Phillips Pyfrom, founder of Oasis Furniture. “We know that change is often difficult but we hope that the wider community is able to see the long-term benefit of eliminating single use plastics from The Bahamas’ environment.
“To influence a wave of recycling, we will take $1 off a customer’s purchase for each Oasis bag the customer reuses at our store. At the very least, our hope is to make the transition easier with the use of our bags. “
Oasis, with outdoor furniture on east Shirley Street and indoor home décor, accessories, gifts and furniture in Sandyport, has built sustainability into its business model. One of the components for the outdoor furniture is upcycled, safely treated plastics. When designing the new store, Mrs Phillips Pyfrom chose to re-purpose pallets that would otherwise have added to the landfill.
“We are proud to offer reusable bags to anyone who stops by our store so long as supplies last. It’s a small gesture that we hope catches on with others as we all do our part to protect the environment,” she added.