Save Barbados: Ban the Bag!

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Our ability to cope with plastic waste is dwindling by the minute. In 2018, only 9% of the nine billion tonnes of plastic the world has ever produced has been recycled. Most plastic ends up in landfills, dumps or in the environment. If current consumption patterns and waste management practices continue, then by 2050 there will be around 12 billion tonnes of plastic litter in landfills and the environment. By this time, if the growth in plastic production continues at its current rate, then the plastics industry may account for 20 per cent of the world’s total oil consumption. These are the waste products of a throwaway culture that treats plastic as a disposable material rather than a valuable resource to be harnessed.

Plastic bag bans, if properly planned and enforced, can effectively counter one of the causes of plastic overuse. More than 60 countries have introduced bans and levies to curb single-use plastic waste. These plastic products are often the most visible forms of plastic pollution. It is estimated that 1 to 5 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. Five trillion is almost 10 million plastic bags per minute.

Though single-use plastic bags are considered a convenient and free option to transport goods from the store to one's home, much of the world has failed to account for their resulting cost to our health and environment. Barbados has suffered immeasurably from the impact of plastic bags, affecting the environment and the way of live for many Bajans.

We are advocating for a complete ban on single-use shopping bags in Barbados.

These bags are proving to be detrimental to the way of life in Barbados. They have contributed greatly to sewage overflows on the South coast, and have collected in ground water drastically affecting water quality and perpetuating issues of flooding. Furthermore, it is crucial to note that these elements ultimately affect the lives of those most financially vulnerable on the island. Those unable to purchase water filters, relocate homes, or prevent the destruction of flooding will be directly harmed in the continued production of single-use plastic bags.

This is not only an environment issue - but a social and humanitarian one as well.

With an island of limited landfill space, the problem of plastic pollution will exacerbate in Barbados. Not only do these bags threaten the lives of local Bajan's directly, they harm the sea life, contribute to the destruction of the global environment, and their production is also a leading factor in climate change.

Marine animals mistake plastic pieces for food. These fragments (also called "microplastics") contain hormone disrupting pollutants such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphel) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). These compounds bio-accumulate within the food chain, and eventually end up our dinner plate.

Additionally, single-use plastic bags are major contributors to sewage malfunctions, increased reproduction of insects that carry pathogens (i.e. Zika Virus), flooding, reduced potable water quality, and many other issues within Barbados.

Every single plastic bag you have ever touched, used or seen remains somewhere on this planet. Together, we (Barbados) can join the 60 countries internationally that have decided to join the (plastic bag) ban wagon.

Sign this Petition to make your voice heard to the Minister of Environment and National Beautification of Barbados.

Save Barbados. Ban the Bag.