Green activist keep up pressure on plastic bags

| 06/12/2011

turtle-plastic.jpg(CNS):Following the significant reduction in the number of plastic bags going into the George Town dump as a result of a local activists’ campaign against them the group is keeping up the pressure. Cayman BECOME has persuaded the local supermarkets to remove plastic bags completely for two Saturdays each month starting on 10 December to encourage people to bring their own bags or purchase reusable ones. Last year’s campaign which introduced a 5cent charge for plastic bags resulted in an immediate initial fall of some 80% in the number of bags used by supermarkets and ultimately in the land fill.

Foster’s, Hurley’s and Kirk supermarkets have already replaced their  non-degradable plastic shopping bags with biodegradable plastic versions and are actively promoting the use of reusable shopping bags. The cash raised from the 5cents also help to fund other environmental projects including the fight against the invasive lion fish.

Building on this success and to ensure that people keep rejecting the plastic bag the Corporate Green Team Network is launching its next phase starting this Saturday. Every second Saturday of each month, local supermarkets will remove all plastic shopping bags pressing shoppers to either bring their own bags from home or purchase environmentally-friendly, re-usable bags.

Bag the Plastic this Saturday (207x300).jpg“We are confident that this next step will be supported by shoppers who recognize the importance of protecting the environment for current and future generations,” said Network member Wendy Williams.

The Corporate Green Team was formed in June 2009 when Deloitte and the Sustainable Development Unit of the Department of Environment (DoE) struck up a partnership to promote and support increasing awareness and implementation of environmental projects and sustainability initiatives in the Cayman Islands.

The Network’s main aims are to offer members support in environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in the workplace, to generate new ideas and to pool efforts in sharing these experiences with a wider audience. Members are also committed to pursuing particular sustainability issues together outside of their “Green Team” internal groups, which they feel could make a difference in encouraging environmental responsibility and sustainability in the community as a whole.

As a first project, the Network launched its plastic bag reduction campaign. Since then, the Network has also started an aluminium can recycling programme following the idea of a KPMG network member. Currently, three condo developments – George Town Villas, Emerald Beach Club and Cayman Crossing – are on-board. They each have installed special recycling bins, with local company, Recycling Services, collecting the cans and sending them off island for recycling.

For more information on these projects, the Corporate Green Team Network, Cayman BECOME or what to expect from the latest campaign, visit or email:

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  1. Anonymous says:

    While I support the ban on plastic shoping bags,  as an annual visitor to Grand Cayman, I think all the rental properties need to  inform their guests and visitors before their arrival and/or provide shopping bags for them to use.  Some places have started that, but usually with one cloth bag.  One bag won't do it for a cart full of groceries.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have no problem with a complete ban on plastic bags as long as there is another alternative other than having to purchase a reusable bag. Sometimes people can come to the supermarket and forget to bring their bags with them, so why should they have to buy more. There are enough empty cardboard boxes in a supermarket so why not offer those like cost you less does.



  3. Bueller says:

    I still don't understand why people get so worked up over plastic bags. Surely one plastic water bottle equates to at least half a dozen bags?


    Have all supermarkets signed up to this complete ban? Friday night shopping it is then

  4. Anonymous says:

    While I very happy the marine life is better off without ingesting plastic bags and being killed,  removing grocery bags is only one step in a very very long process.

    What are garbage bags made out of? Plastic. Usually the long lasting kind.

    Government nees to get off its glutes and get a proper recycling system in place and then how about a community composting site?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Removing plastic bags completely is a bit draconian, particularly when markets have already switched to bio-degradable bags.  We utilize reusable bags generally, but sometimes we are stuck with only a couple in the car, or we may deliberately get a couple plastic ones so that we can reuse them for other household chores.   A complete ban on bio-degradable plastic is going a bit overboard in the grand scheme. 

    • Anonymous says:

      what is draconian is to pollute the mother earth , the only one that gives us life. Draconian times require draconian measures. Human should be ashamed of of what they do and leaving to future generations.

      • Just Commentin' says:

        Nice sentiment, but..c'mon…really??

        So you do not pollute the earth? Or are you just another wannabee"Greenie" living in a fantasy land of self righteous denial about their own environmentally unsustainable personal carbon and toxin footprints?

        If you deem that being a ready, willing, and able contributor to pollution is a reason for shame, then read my Common Environmental Vices list below; you should hang your head in shame every time you:

        • Get into a motor vehicle rather than walk or use a bike.
        • Flip a switch and use CUC generated electricity.
        • Turn on central A/C rather than use natural ventilation.
        • Take a warm or hot tub bath or shower, rather than a cold shower.
        • Use main-supplied and/or bottled water rather than rain-catchment water.
        • Cook foods that are perfectly good (and more healthy) eaten raw – for most "Greenies" this list is usually a long one.
        • Purchase pre-packaged food packaged in plastics or other non-renewable or non eco-friendly material.
        • Come home if you live in a dwelling constructed using non-renewable and/or or non eco-friendly material materials.
        • Purchase goods (clothing, furniture, personal items, cosmetics, etc.) made of non-renewable and/or or non eco-friendly material materials

        (Need I go on?)

        Mind you, you do not have to do these things, it is by choice you do them. (It is probably a good bet you have plastic garbage bag in your waste bin, eh?)

        Yeah I know, giving up all this convenient, comfy stuff to avoid being a shameful polluter would be…uh…well…draconian. But somewhere on this thread someone wrote "Draconian times require draconian measures."


        Should you not be a partaker of any of the item on my Common Environmental Vices list, you are exceptional and to be commended for being among the sustainable lifestyle individuals of our species.

        As for me, I am a proponent of reason prevailing and a prudent balance being struck. I make it a habit to bring along my "green" bags when I shop. I have used my own sturdy reusable shopping bags long before the hooplah about "plastic" was the tree-hugger hot topic of the day because I really dislike those flimsy white plastic bags anyway; however, I dislike being forced into not having an option even more. Thus, in protest, should I shop on a non-plastic-bag Saturday, I will simply put a package of plastic wastebasket bags in my cart, place it on the checkout counter first and bag my groceries in plastic that day.

        The fact is, and all warm fuzzy eco-friendly feel good sentiments aside, given the current world population level, unless people in advanced countries take draconian steps and give up all the environmental vices on my list above (and much much more), pollutants and toxins will eventually make the earth an unfit place for humans to survive. Mere token "cutbacks" on our carbon and toxin footprints will only extend the coming death knell for a while longer.

        Having said this, it may come to pass that if we continue to pollute at any significant level, once humanity is sufficiently debilitated by its own toxins and the world's advanced (polluting) economies fail and the human population declines enough (say 75-% 90% of humanity gone) through disease and starvation, after a period of mankind living in the non-industrial dark ages again, the Earth will begin to recover. Of course it may be more likely that we will end up being just another failed extinct species, with the remarkable footnote that we were the victim of our own demise; in which case the Earth will not miss us and will cleanse herself and be pristine once more. A true Earth-lover can only hope, eh?

    • Anonymous says:

      The burden of human existence on all other forms life on this planet is unprecedented. Future generations will condemn us if we our consciousness don’t change.