Ban the Bag

reuse

Green VI partnered with WorldHouse Caribbean and the major supermarkets in the BVI to voluntarily ban the plastic bag.

Ban the Bag Team

In January, 2012 WorldHouse Caribbean introduced the concept and screened Waste Land at UP’s Cineplex. An educational programme in the schools followed, by a talking to children and showing them the Bag It documentary.

Screening of Bag It at UPS February 2013

Plastic bag legislation is a growing worldwide trend with a quarter of the world’s countries now banning the bag through legislation. It is inevitable that, in the near future, the plastic bag would be banned through government legislation in the BVI. To preempt this, WorldHouse Caribbean and Green VI have partnered with the major grocery stores in the BVI to be the first Overseas Territory to voluntarily ban the plastic bag. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the agreement that on the 11th March 2013 a charge of 15 cents per plastic bag would be charged at the till if customers do not bring their own bags. Participating supermarkets include Road Town Wholesale Trading Ltd, OneMart, A Value, Qwomar Trading Ltd, Supa Value, Bobby’s, Buck’s and Rosy’s.

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It is important to understand some of the negative impacts of the plastic bag in the BVI:

  • Plastic bags make up the highest percentage of litter found in the BVI - plastics take 1000 years to photodegrade and break down into smaller fragments, which become unmanageable and contaminate soil, water and living organisms.
  • Plastic bags contribute to the blocking of drains and increase the risk of flooding
  • Plastic bags kill marine life through strangulation and ingestion – for example, plastic bags in the ocean look like jellyfish, a food source to many marine animals. Once ingested, the bags create blockages within digestive systems leading to death.

One million plastic bags are used worldwide every minute. The BVI has joined this worldwide movement and is taking action to preserve the natural beauty of our islands. It is hoped that the supermarkets will continue with the initiative.