Plastic bag initiative hits a snag

With three months to go before the May 1, commencement date for shoppers to pay 20 cents per plastic bag at some of the island’s leading supermarkets and retail stores, the initiative is getting strong resistance from some customers while some retailers are expressing reservations about implanting the fee.

However, organizer of the scheme, advocacy director of the Future Centre Trust Kammie Holder is telling them to stop complaining and get on board.

“Many persons have been complaining about the whole initiative where a deterrent fee is being charged as of May 1, as it relates to the plastic bags from supermarkets,” he said in reference to customers, adding that they had the option of taking their own bags when making purchase.

Last November, Holder announced that the move, which is being introduced with ice-cream manufacturer BICO Limited, was in an effort to reduce the heavy use of plastic bags, believed to be in excess of 100 million annually.

Holder said besides customers, some retailers were opposed to the initiative, which he said was designed to help protect the environment. He opted not to name those retailers that were expressing reservations about implementing the 20 cents fee per plastic bag.

He was speaking to members of the media this morning following the presentation of cheques to winners in the Nicholls Baking Company Limited Ca$h $ Bags competition.

“Some merchants are saying if they don’t give customers plastic bags [for free] that they are not going to shop. But within Barbados you have retailers such as Cost-u-Less, PriceSmart and others who do not give plastic bags and there is no complaint, but there is much indifference in this country. And the Government must also take leadership in this initiative,” said Holder.

“This is the time that every merchant, every retailer must take responsibility and come on board and do something for the environment of Barbados,” he insisted.

Holder expressed disappointment in Barbadians, saying there were too many double standards. He called on all Barbadians to take the issue of recycling and proper disposal of their garbage more seriously.

“Interesting enough Barbadians will leave Barbados today and go Antigua and be told plastic bags are banned and they will comply. But yet we are finding it difficult in this country to comply. You have persons going to supermarkets and wanting to bag bread, or buying a razor blade or chewing gum and want a single use plastic bag,” said Holder.

“The task of Barbadians especially the corporate entities, is to not ask what the country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country. The same push back we give will come to haunt us. We cannot continue to be so reactive,” he said, while pointing to the dangers that plastic bags posed to the environment, animals and humans.

Holder also called on financial institutions to look at the possibility of offering more attractive “green loans” to spur more entrepreneurial activities in the green energy sector.

The Ca$h $ Bags competition was organised by Nicholls Baking Co Ltd in association with the Future Centre Trust, to encourage students to recycle the plastic bags. The competition, which started in October and ended last month, saw West Terrace Primary School walking away with the $8,000 prize after collecting 2,510 of the specially marked salt bread bags.

Second place of $5,000 went to the Charles F Broome Memorial Primary School for its 2,490 bags. There was no third prize as the other 29 primary schools, six secondary schools and four private and one public nursery schools fell below the 1,000 mark.

A total of 45,000 specially marked salt bread bags were turned in.

15 Responses to Plastic bag initiative hits a snag

  1. Sunshine Sunny Shine February 4, 2017 at 3:53 am

    So if all the Supermarkets and retailers imposed the 20 cents per bag fee as a rule, you trying to tell me that bajans will stop shop? This real ignorant thought.

    • Y BARROW February 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Even Ossie Moore will know to tavel with a bag if he doesn’t want to pay for a bag. end of story LOL

  2. Frank White February 4, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Just another money making affair and a conspiracy, that’s how I see it. The supermarkets will be on board with this because it’s all about the money they will make selling a 1 cent bag for 20 cents, they don’t give a rat’s ass about the environment or mother earth. This is just the beginning of the closures of those companies who manufacturers bags in this country, why, someone else has an idea that will make them mad money but first they have to get those manufacturers out of the way. I know what I am saying but can call names on here, stop allowing yourself to be fooled by the people all the time with their false pretenses.

  3. Concerned shopper February 4, 2017 at 8:38 am

    So when you have a full cart of groceries tell me how you suppose to carry them out. Pricesmart at least have boxes to help. I understand if you just picking up a few items but not when you doing a big shopping. You can’t expect shoppers to walk with reusable bags, it’s just not convenient. A suggestion; why not use paper bags or have the reusable bags available with the option to purchase those for 20 cents or suitable cost.

  4. Brewster February 4, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Bajans get a grip. This happens all over the UK and EU. At the checkout, whether it is for food or toiletries you are asked whether you wish to purchase a bag or not. Clothes stores use recyclable and paper bags everywhere. It is common practice and common sense. The world is suffering due to the abundance of plastic waste. Whatever happened to recyclable bags?? Walk with a canvas shopper or trolley. Everytime I return to Bim it is dirtier, shabby in places and in need of somd TLC. Always see locals throwing rubbish on the ground when they are literally 1 min away from a bin. Barbados please charge the litter bugs and take a stance. It is a disgusting habit. People will continue to shop so stop using lame excuses. NO MORE PLASTIC!!!

  5. Brewster February 4, 2017 at 9:02 am

    When the RATS take over the island then you’ll start to wonder why you did’nt try to help your country keep them at bay. Too many ignorant people in Bim. Educated what!?!

  6. Nadia Armstrong February 4, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Stop and think people! This is the B’dos Future Centre Trust and you are telling me that the best initiative they can come up with for the environment is to charge customers 20c for a plastic bag?? Almost 90% of those bags are then taken home and used as garbage bags by customers which then go to the landfill!!! How many of you see plastic bags littered around Barbados? What you are seeing is stoves, fridges, tv’s, etc. that have now become a huge problem after years of getting the place cleaned up because of the tipping fee. Why isn’t the Future Centre Trust looking into establishing a recycling program, something that the UK, US, etc. have done for years. As for Bico in on this program, we will buy bags for 20c when none of your items are packaged in plastic!! Items like your lollies and snack cups which I see littered in many places around the island.

    I don’t have a problem with environmental initiatives but sit down and implement the correct ones Mr. Holder and company!

  7. JR February 4, 2017 at 10:50 am

    When I look into the constitution river and observe the loads of plastic bags and bottles floating out to sea, I cant help but be 100% in support of this initiative. If you want to be dirty, be dirty, but be willing to pay for it! This is long overdue.

  8. Bill February 4, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Why the high price for the bags! Would it not be better to encourage all supermarkets to discontinue the provision of plastic bags forcing shoppers to travel with reusable bags as they now do when shopping at Cost u Less, Price Smart etc. Barbadians are adaptable and will6quickly adjust and pay for the bags. That will not help to solve the problem but would provide larger profit margins for the supermarkets. Get rid of the plastic bags!

  9. Mikey February 4, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Why all the fuss ???
    Put a price of 10 dollars per plastic bag and see what happens !!!

  10. jrsmith February 4, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    You can see the double standards , if plastic bags is a problem stop manufacturing them……the whole thing is a rip off, in the (US) long before this stupidness you was given a large brown paper bag, why the same thing cant be done in Barbados and why pay 20 cents..

    As like cigarettes which kill why then would’nt they stop making cigarettes … which is giving the corporates billions in profits…….

  11. Ego February 4, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    We have been taking our own shoppers for years., or we pay the price for the plastic. When I was a child, everyone had a grocery basket or bag. We have become too posh.

  12. Tony Waterman February 5, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Frank White:-So What!!!!!! Why do you have a problem with money being made, is it because the wrong COLOUR of person is making the Money, and why are you NOT seeing that Internationally Plastics have become the Scourge, and “EVERY COUNTRY” is trying to eliminate it NOT ONLY Barbados, the manufacture and RAMPANT use of Plastic has become the WORST DISATER to date, Research the Island of Plastics that Floating around in the Pacific Ocean, and you MIGHT think Differently.

    Brewster:-In the UK and EU, i am sure that it is mandated by Law, in Canada, it is understood, and you don’t get one unless you pay for it. in Barbados EVERYONE thinks that EVERYTHING is their RIGHT, and the Feeble Government does not have the Guts to Do anything, because they are Spending their Entire time Campaigning for Re-Election, so they are NOT going to do ANYTHING that will rile up the Populace.
    Brewster:-You Must Live outside of Barbados, i do also, but visit there every Year for at least one Month, CATS don’t even bother to attack the Rats in Barbados anymore, and that is NORT a JOKE, it a Reality.

    Bill:-My suspicion is that, the Bags or the Raw materials to Manufacture the Bags is IMPORTED, and although the Government is Talking Environment, The Finance Minister is still Charging Exhorbitant Duties on GREEN Related things. Reusable Bags were originally sold here in Ottawa, for 99 Cents each, they are Now between $1.25- $2.00 each. Plastic Bags in 99% of the Stores in Canada are a Min. 5 each. Duties and Exchange, MIGHT be what accounts for the 20 Cents in Barbados, if you Shop a Lot, that Cost is Covered quite quickly.

    Ego:-and there was also Wrapping Paper, for most other everything is wrapped in Plastic.well!!! 9it will be Pay me now or Pay me Later, their Choice.

  13. The Negrocrat February 8, 2017 at 9:22 am

    These jokers can’t find they way out of a plastic bag without a bottom.
    This is a good idea gone bad.
    Sad thing is that Kammie and crew have a one track mind and can’t see a solution even if it is placed in their laps.

  14. Liv April 27, 2017 at 9:45 am

    We did this in the UK, charged 5p per bag. A lot of people didn’t like this when it came in but since its introduction bag usuage has gone massively down. It is very good for the environment and once you get used to it its fine. I have been all around the world and see plastic bags floating in every single ocean and sea, its disgusting and disgraceful. Not to mention the amount in landfill sites. Its about time the world moved forward and realised that this planet isnt a dumping ground.

    The money being made (20c) or some of it should be put back into the government to be able to give better services to residents, simple.


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