In an attempt to help reduce the number of plastic bags entering the local landfill, one private sector organization has embarked on a drive to supply the market with approximately 7,000 reusable shopping bags.
As part of the initiative the Williams Group of companies Wednesday presented the Future Centre Trust (FCT) with 500 burlock bags.
The donation was part of a wider initiative launched last November by the Williams Group in observance of the island’s 50th anniversary of Independence.
Everick Eastmond, operations director of NSR Limited, the operators of SkyMall and Bridge Street Mall, told Barbados TODAY the Group was concerned about the general lack of recycling and garbage disposal, and wanted to help make a difference.
He added that some of the bags would be given to customers.
“We are hoping it will go a long way to help reducing the plastic content that is going into the landfill,” Eastmond said.
“I estimate that if it is used as it should we can probably save about two million of those plastic bags going into the dump annually, just from this small volume.”
Eastmond estimated the cost of each bag at $11, stressing while some may consider it a bit high, the use of plastic bags could end up costing the country a lot more in the future because of its environmental and health impact.
“We have a small land mass so we have to really be concerned as to what is happening to our land and what is happening to the capacity of the garbage landfills,” Eastmond said.
“So I challenge every Barbadians really to come on board with this initiative because it is protecting the country we love most and the country that we display to the whole world.”
Meanwhile FCT Programme Coordinator Tracey Edwards said a number of commercial entities were encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags since the announcement last year that some retailers would charge a 20-cent fee per plastic bag.
However, she said she was not yet satisfied that it was at the level of participation.
“We are just saying that within six to eight months we want to have all retailers on board and that no business a person will go to that they will have to get a plastic bag,” she said.
The FCT, in collaboration with ice-cream manufacturer BICO Ltd, last November announced that starting May 1 this year shoppers would be required to pay 20 cents per plastic bag at some of the island’s leading supermarkets and retail stores.