Plastic bag ban in Curacao

November 20, 2008 by admin
Filed under: Business and Economy, Government & Politics 

The ban on plastic shopping bags because of the damage they inflict on the environment has taken effect in Curaçao. Through good cooperation between the association of local supermarkets and the Island Government, among others, an information campaign was held and re-usable bags supplied. The question is when St. Maarten will follow suit. That plastic bags also constitute a big problem here was once again confirmed during the recent cleanup of five local beaches, when they greatly outnumbered the pieces of paper removed. Preliminary results of an online survey conducted by Sundial School students in any case indicated that the vast majority of the 90 respondents support a ban on plastic shopping bags. A total of 67 per cent favours charging for plastic shopping bags to encourage the use of “green” bags, while 87 per cent fancies a reward for reusing shopping bags and 77 per cent supports an outright ban on free plastic bags. In Curaçao the new, durable shopping bags are sold at cost price for one guilder, considered the consumer’s contribution to safeguarding the environment. Of course, people can also bring their own non-plastic bags. The complaints there have been minimal so far. One rule is that people coming with their own bags most fold them to make clear they are empty, so there is no confusion between what was already inside and what was purchased inside the supermarket. It’s also important to have enough durable bags available, although empty carton boxes at the supermarkets and bags people bring from home can make quite a difference. The Executive Council of St. Maarten has been talking for some time about a possible plastic ban here too, but so far there is no indication as to when this can be achieved. It appears the cooperation between the food stores and government that was essential in preparing and introducing the ban in Curaçao has not really gotten off the ground here, at least not yet. There is no time to lose, however. The longer it is delayed, the greater the damage to nature and as a result the scenery that helps to make the island such a favoured destination. Surely, while preparation time is no doubt needed, the parties involved should be able to learn from Curaçao’s experience and use that to introduce a plastic bag ban here in the very short term.

Source: The Daily Herald

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