A recent environmental NGO, Bahamas Plastic Movement (BPM) delegation has proven to be successful. The Honorable Romauld Ferreira, The Bahamas’ Minister of Environment and Housing, just announced a plan to ban plastic bags in The Bahamas.
Kristal Ambrose, founder of BPM explained how plastic bags are used in abundance in The Bahamas. “Our goal is to see a reduction in plastic bag use and plastic bag litter in the country, however, our ultimate goal is to have a complete ban on plastic bags and Styrofoam for the entire Bahamas by the year 2020,” said Ambrose.
While the environmental impact of plastic bag pollution is the main concern, as the rate of plastic pollution increases it will also impact tourism, one of the main economic sources for The Bahamas. Bahamas Plastic Movement estimated that plastic pollution on the beaches could cause up to $8.5 million in losses annually for the country.
Minister Ferreira has proposed a complete ban on plastic bags in The Bahamas, followed by banning various other types of single-use plastics like Styrofoam.
The Minister explained that the Ministry of Environment has been working on formulating regulations to address plastic use in the country and agrees with Bahamas Plastic Movement that there needs to be swift action to reverse the plastic pollution problem.
Multiple other countries around the globe have taken steps to cut back on plastic bag usage. Some countries like Rwanda, China, Taiwan, Macedonia, and Kenya have a total ban on plastic bags. In Western Europe, many countries charge a small fee for plastic bags. In North America and Australia, local jurisdictions have put partial banns, taxes, or fees on them. There has also been a push to introduce and encourage the use of reusable shopping bags. Many other countries are working towards putting regulations on plastic use in place.
Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park already have a strict “no trash” policy in place to help protect the local wildlife. Even so, plastic and trash on the beaches and in the water have been increasing. Whether it’s from tourists or locals, limiting the amount of plastic on the islands will certainly help reduce the pollution and protect the beautiful scenery on Exuma.
To learn more about the movement visit Bahamas Plastic Movement’s site.