Environmentalist pokes holes in plastic bag fee

An environmental scientist has spoken out against the way in which the Future Centre Trust is seeking to implement a 15-cent “deterrent fee” on plastic bags at supermarkets and retail outlets across the island.

The fee, which has already had two rollout delays, is scheduled to take effect sometime next month. It was last November when officials from the Trust and BICO announced the initiative aimed at reducing the number of plastic bags that enter the landfill and waste streams.

However, Dr Ariana Marshall is concerned about the transparency of the initiative, arguing that Barbadians were being asked to carry a further financial burden in dire economic times, without being told how the monies collected would be spent.

“If we are going to implement that fee for plastic bags, we need to be very clear what the fee is being used for. I think it is a burden on the Barbadian people to have to pay a plastic bag fee,” Marshall said this morning at the Deacons Development Facility in Deacons Farm, St Michael where Better Caribbean and the St Michael North West Constituency Council launched of a joint recycling programme.

She also contended that some of the reusable bags being touted as alternatives were not necessarily better for the environment. For example, she said, paper bags contain dyes that seep into the earth, while some wool bags have to be replaced far too frequently.

Conceding that “it is also a burden for sea turtles to be entangled in plastic, as there is actually a dollar value on that as it relates to our tourism sector”, Marshall added: “There are fees both ways, but the plastic bag fee directly burdens Barbadians without a proper explanation. If we had said that a particular supermarket was charging a fee and it was going directly to clean up a particular beach or sponsor a programme at a school, then Bajan people would be more amenable to it and we wouldn’t have all of the issues with it.”

The scientist added she was not convinced the option of educating retailers and consumers had been fully exhausted, stating it was unrealistic to expect change overnight.

“It was said that the industry was spoken to for a while about this. . . .  It takes a lot of work to change industry practices. You don’t just get up one morning and tell someone to change an industry; it doesn’t matter how many worldwide opportunities there are. That is why I don’t like the idea of just handing down a fee and demanding that everyone pays it, because it makes people more determined to resist the ideas put forward by environmentalists,” Marshall stressed.

The Better Caribbean director also accused the supermarkets of trying to have it both ways, as they were charging for the plastic bags while at the same time selling the reusable bags.

Marshall insisted that in order to truly effect change, supermarkets should assume more corporate responsibility and provide consumers with reusable bags free of cost.

90 Responses to Environmentalist pokes holes in plastic bag fee

  1. Nancy Hall
    Nancy Hall July 4, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Well said. You need to go that extra mile to get people on board.

  2. Robert Holloway
    Robert Holloway July 5, 2017 at 12:00 am

    A 15 cent fee (bdn) is high even when converted to our local plastic fee at 3 cents – 5 cents cdn. Not all stores charge but many do . Local stores sell reusable bags at about $1 cdn ( $1.55 bdn) while my local grocery store pays me for using my reusable bag at 3 cents a bag , so I use 4-5 bags nornally for full shopping , which means in the course of a year I was refunded $7.80 cents Many charities, and stores to solicit your business will give you a free reusable bag which is good corporate community involvement .It does take time to adjust ones habits and normally you have one in your purse or car for the odd purchase,

  3. John Everatt July 5, 2017 at 12:18 am

    For your information people do NOT have to pay for plastic bags. They have the option of bringing their own. Just yesterday I purchased good at a local convenience store and forgot to bring my bag. They gave me a reusable bag free of charge. I think that you have some axe to grind (rebel without a cause) and nothing constructive to say so you write this drivel. Not only do we need to outlaw plastic bags but even more get rid of the styroform containers that litter this island. You are supposed to be an environmental scientist – open your eyes and start acting like one.

    • Arel Oran July 5, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      I support this comment fully.

  4. Jason Patel
    Jason Patel July 5, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Finally someone is speaking out.

  5. Hunte Omar
    Hunte Omar July 5, 2017 at 1:59 am

    It is high way robbery and the lunatics who are motivated by greed would eventually paid. You can’t rip off the poor and survive. Stop using the environment as an excuse . That is why a lot of them go out of business.

    • Ashley Waithe
      Ashley Waithe July 5, 2017 at 6:50 am

      because plastic doesn’t really last 500 years in a landfill, noooooooo

  6. Claire Gibson
    Claire Gibson July 5, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Good job Ariana!

  7. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen July 5, 2017 at 3:18 am

    What I sit back in my rocking chair and see does got me thinking,long before the 1st July business had up they price and subject to another increase on the first ,and this plastic issue,and all de Ministers that we put in place do is come and lambasted we on a daily basis.

    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor July 5, 2017 at 5:09 am

      I went tobd minimart and dem charge me 25 cents for a bag not 15 cents! I ain’t thief d things so I walked with them in ma hand!

    • Aquarius Rastress
      Aquarius Rastress July 5, 2017 at 5:38 am

      Ya right cause I does the same not paying 25cent for no bag

  8. Verla De Peiza
    Verla De Peiza July 5, 2017 at 5:19 am

    She makes so much sense! All the points various persons were raising to the FCT on another thread!

  9. Peter Lowe
    Peter Lowe July 5, 2017 at 5:54 am

    If they really cared about the environment they would ban the plastic bags instead of trying to make money off of them…..But we got we got alot of damn idiots about here agreeing with the fee without thinking, cause they here this crap about environment. .it’s a smart way to make easy money

  10. Lynda Bonnett
    Lynda Bonnett July 5, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Ha….there was a “NO way we can get away from plastic bags…. some food, vegetables,meats are ln plastic at supermarket,even for putting out stuff and garbage…are we going​ to put garbage In reusable bags…lol lol lol

  11. Jean Constable
    Jean Constable July 5, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Missing the point – for the planet we need to stop wrapping everything in plastic, and putting it in 5 bags, a reusable bag can be used over and over…….the 15 cent cost is meant to be a deterrent

    • Peter Lowe
      Peter Lowe July 5, 2017 at 6:36 am

      Tell me who bank account all that extra money is going into cause we are already getting charge for the bags

    • Jean Constable
      Jean Constable July 5, 2017 at 7:04 am

      Well that’s something the government can answer – along with all the other $ that it gets, my point is we don’t need all these bags ant this is a way of opening our eyes to this I hope someone is making cheap cloth bags to sell and making a killing doing so…..

  12. Randy Hartman
    Randy Hartman July 5, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Motor vehicular traffic (in it present form) cause more harm to the environment and animals than plastic bags.. yet no one is pushing for proper walk ways and bike paths..
    Oh right.. doesn’t suit your agenda

  13. Tamara Warner
    Tamara Warner July 5, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Honestly we as a people will not change from the convenience of a plastic bag unless we have to. When Shopsmart and Pricesmart first came about the concept of no bags was strange but people got past it and adjusted. However people will not readjust if they dont have to. So charge the 15 cents and save our small ecosystem it wont get rid of all plastic but it will massively reduce our consumption which is ultimately what this initiative is about. If you have no intention in paying the 15 cents like me then walk with reusable bags either purchased or made. We will not progress on issues if we look to fight them at every turn. Next stop mandatory recycling. We can do it Barbados we just have to adjust to what we’ve always known and realise that in the long run this is a good initiative for all of us as a people to follow.

    • Peter Lowe
      Peter Lowe July 5, 2017 at 6:25 am

      You really understand what the woman trying to say? that is why every body does take advantage and unfair Bajans Because of idiots like you. Can’t you see it’s a money making thing..are you getting some of the money that they charging?.

    • Sophia S M Alleyne
      Sophia S M Alleyne July 5, 2017 at 6:43 am

      Come on Peter Lowe no need for name calling….explain it to her so she can understand

    • Tamara Warner
      Tamara Warner July 5, 2017 at 6:44 am

      Clearly my opinion cannot differ from yours. There are options not to spend the 15 cents a bag aren’t they? I have no intention to pay it and neither should you.

    • Peter Lowe
      Peter Lowe July 5, 2017 at 6:49 am

      You said charge the 15 cents..why can’t you tell them ban the bags all together. When ever done Bajans will pay for the bags, the environment will Continue to get destroy and certain people will be smiling all the way to the bank….you really fell that those people care about the environment? No…they see a way to make extra money.

    • Tamara Warner
      Tamara Warner July 5, 2017 at 7:01 am

      I meant…Guh long and charge the 15 cents because there are alternatives we as Bajans can use, and I will certainly be using them. My money will not be spent on plastic bags will yours? I am finding an alternative and moving on with life. No sense fighting up to keep something we know bad for the environment and us in the long run.

    • Rishona Graham
      Rishona Graham July 5, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Yes it is a way to make extra money also the cost of the bag is already factored into the goods . Why does the future trust feel this is acceptable?

    • Sylvan Cumberbatch
      Sylvan Cumberbatch July 5, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Well said Tamara Warner

    • Andrena Ceasar
      Andrena Ceasar July 5, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Tell me how this will reduce plastic do you realise that 90% of the things in the supermarket is packaged in plastic it’s the number one packaging materials

    • Cherryka Corbin Jackson
      Cherryka Corbin Jackson July 5, 2017 at 9:42 am

      I understand but what about the person who use public transportation? No plastic bags will be quite difficult

  14. Peter Lowe
    Peter Lowe July 5, 2017 at 6:20 am

    People need to speak out against this ROBBERY…and boycott the supermarkets that is the involve in this foolishness.

  15. Brian Hurley
    Brian Hurley July 5, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Oh good grief… smh

    • Joanne Pooler
      Joanne Pooler July 5, 2017 at 9:23 am

      Sad when an environmentalist just doesn’t get it right? The charge is too high? Good! Then it will do / is doing what was intended!

  16. Jason O. Greene
    Jason O. Greene July 5, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Thats what I plan to do. I got a bag of bags here so I’m not running out no time soon

  17. allison archer July 5, 2017 at 6:27 am

    they say the crazy are institutionalized no way these people who think these brain ideas need to be analyze psychologically by train personnel for surely they are not mentally stable
    there is something about more money in pockets that people become deranged

    the good book says the LOVE of money is the root of all evil

  18. Ideliver69 July 5, 2017 at 7:02 am

    I would have preferred if the supermarkets who charged the fee

    a) offered customers buying over X amount at least one free reusable bag- if they accumulate and present their receipts over a 2 or 3 month period. could be bag branded with their logo

    b) or Announce that they are either to use the money from the plastic bag fee to reduce prices on the (” basket of goods) or other environmental projects.

    c) donate to or adopt an environmental project.

  19. Winnie Meade
    Winnie Meade July 5, 2017 at 7:10 am


  20. Ejd July 5, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Recyle instead.

  21. Lynda Lewis July 5, 2017 at 7:26 am

    I guess the fee is a deterrent but consider all the plastic that is still used by the same supermarkets to wrap vegetables, meat, cheese etc. All the styrofoam containers that are used daily by fast food operations, coffee shops, supermarkets. I would much rather there be an overall program to address all these.

    Sorting of garbage and recycling needs to be mandatory. I would love to see Hotels,Restaurants, Fast food businesses and Corporate Barbados be proactive and start the ball rolling.

  22. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn July 5, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Any time I go to shop at ANY business place and they charge me fifteen cents on the items. I will be leaving the items and walk.

  23. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn July 5, 2017 at 7:38 am

    I am calling on all BARBARIAN. Don’t be ignorant. Don’t PAY no fifteen cents. Leave the good or items and walk. We the people have the power. Any business that is giving free plastic go their and shop. Boycott this fifteen cents. Time to hard for this shit. People sitting down on their ASS trying to RIPP OFF Bajan. They want to make easy money.

  24. R LeVere Harper
    R LeVere Harper July 5, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Now, think about it, the retailers are charging for a business input which they have already factored into their operating cost…also what I have not heard is who is this levy being collected by, unless I missed something…also like the good doctor said what are these funds being collected towards what specific environmental initiatives….but as usual the sheeples just mumble and grumble….it’s pathetic actually!!!

  25. Angie Brathwaite July 5, 2017 at 7:48 am

    The issue with plastics is larger (for us) than paper bags and cotton bags. We have a serious problem with plastics and marine life. Environmentalists have been asking people to use reusable bags for years….asking has not worked. The fee is supposed to act as a deterrent. Good point about asking where the money collected from the plastic bags is going…hoping it will be fed back into conservation activities as suggested. What else would you suggest to minimise the use of plastic bags, with a Government unwilling to place a ban?

  26. Judy Stanford
    Judy Stanford July 5, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Where does the 15cent fee go? Does it go to improve the environment in anyway? BTW..I have used reusable bags for years now and it is not a big deal, you will get use to it. And, it is a start!!!

    • Rishona Graham
      Rishona Graham July 5, 2017 at 8:37 am

      It goes to which ever charity . I must say Haiti has been receiving funding for years

  27. KS July 5, 2017 at 7:51 am

    “Motor vehicular traffic (in it present form) cause more harm to the environment and animals than plastic bags.. yet no one is pushing for proper walk ways and bike paths.”

    Randy… I agree 100%……….. significant benefits as it could reduce the country’s medical bill with a healthier population but the motor vehicle industry much to powerful for our ‘wimpy’ politicians …….. let’s start with bike paths & restricted Broad St. traffic!!!

  28. Donald Trump July 5, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Its not about who profits from the plastic bag sale its a deturant. I was in a line last week the lady in from of me purchased a drink. And still purchased a bag to lut it in. We Bajans are adi ted to plastic bags. It needs to stop. Maybe they shey should charge $3 per bag!

  29. Cisne Pascal
    Cisne Pascal July 5, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Well who knew?

  30. Andy Lashley
    Andy Lashley July 5, 2017 at 7:54 am

    It works well in the U.K. Every one takes there own bags to the shops they only pay for bags when there have forgotten to bring one.
    Some of the supermarkets go as far as to give you a bag for life whenever it breaks or is worn you can bring it back and replace it without having to pay a fee again.
    This way there know that the bags are properly dispose of.
    The money from the bag is “supposed” to be going to the clean up of the environment.

    • Rishona Graham
      Rishona Graham July 5, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Where the groceries are cheaper but high prices and buy a bag to jokes

    • Andy Lashley
      Andy Lashley July 5, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Rishona Graham I can just tell you what I’ve seen over the past few years here in London.
      It is working you see less plastic bags blown around the streets and stuff and people carrier bags to the shop or the shops give them a box free.
      They really don’t pay for any bags there will pay for the first few weeks but then people remember to take back to the shop simple.
      It does work….

  31. Serene Cheshire Clarke
    Serene Cheshire Clarke July 5, 2017 at 8:02 am

    y would they refuse? ppl hve been taking shopping bags from 1 supermarket to other supermarkets and stores for years.

  32. Tracy Morgan-Forte
    Tracy Morgan-Forte July 5, 2017 at 8:19 am

    So question: where have all of the biodegradable bags gone??

  33. Denise Haynes July 5, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I am puzzled. Some years ago a major supermarket announced that their bags had been changed to biodegradable bags and the bags were in fact thinner and biodegradable. Now they say that in order to help the environment they are charging us for the bags that were not supposed to pose any threat to the environment?
    Also in order for the sale of the plastic bag to result in an environmental advantage, recycling bins should be provided to the public for a small fee, and collection days be established for collection of the contents of these bins, just as we have days for garbage collection. Otherwise people would now buy liners for the garbage (as bags cost 15 cents each), and those liners pose a threat to the environment which may be bigger than the threat from grocery bags. We have gone nowhere!
    Unless recycling bins are distributed and used we are going nowhere. In countries where there is a cost for bags this measure of distributing recycling bins and collecting recyclables completes the effort. What we have in Barbados is a half-measure at best.

    • tedd July 5, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      I agree,
      if the bags at super center are biodegradable, which I know to be true as they degrade if left in the house too long, why charge an environment fee. Also most Barbadians I know use these bags to put out garbage. The SSA demands garbage be placed in plastic bags before being put in the bins, so it means we mus either pay the 15 cents per bag or go down the isle and buy plastic garbage bags. the result is no improvement for the environment but an increased expense to the consumers and larger profit margins for the store.

    • John Everatt July 5, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      You are correct as far as the recycling but incorrect when it comes to the biodegradable bags. Yes one or 2 stores started that but then went back the to old ones. None of the bags today are biodegradable as far as I can see.

  34. Rishona Graham
    Rishona Graham July 5, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Thank you!

  35. Rishona Graham
    Rishona Graham July 5, 2017 at 8:21 am

    But we didn’t have to bring boxes they have them there though

  36. Hot stuff July 5, 2017 at 8:22 am


  37. Harold C Chapman July 5, 2017 at 8:23 am

    The bags are bio degradable so what’s the problem?

  38. Michelle Smith-Mayers
    Michelle Smith-Mayers July 5, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Charging for the bag will not necessarily reduce the consumption. And she is right. How is it being used. The charge should be part of a more comprehensive environmental initiative lead by government with private sector that includes recycling and sorted garbage. I know you have to start somewhere but not sure if this is the right way.

    • Tamara Warner
      Tamara Warner July 5, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Why Michelle, because the fee is too minimal to be a deterrent? Do you think people will just keep paying 15 cents per bag to continue to have as Jason O. Greene posted below ‘a bag of bags’ in their houses? I know I have no intention of paying it because there are better options available to us.

    • Tamara Warner
      Tamara Warner July 5, 2017 at 10:17 am

      I forgot to address your 2nd point. The fact is that in Barbados, most initiatives are usually started by the private sector. Am I lying?

  39. Rishona Graham
    Rishona Graham July 5, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Yes but the future trust can make money this way that’s all!! This is a major win for them currently and we have to buy the bags from the same private sector

    • John Everatt July 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      The Future Trust does NOT make money from the fifteen cents. Where did you ever get that idea?

  40. Roschell Small
    Roschell Small July 5, 2017 at 8:38 am

    That’s what I keep asking people. Tell me where my 10c, 15c, or 25c going. No damn body can tell me. That’s the same way the government putting on all of these taxes and no damn body don’t see where the money going. But when Bajans start standing up for something the people that making these rules about these taxes will understand. I went into Carter’s and the cashier told me I would have to pay for a bag for my items. I put them in my hand and walk out. After I finish spending my money wanna telling me that I have to pay for a bag too. HELL NO. I already tell the people at Cherish and Jordans when them start charging for bags I will be leaving them groceries in them places and asking back for my money. We Bajans need to start standing up for what we believe. The people of the other Caribbean countries does call we Bajans the Pu$$y of the Caribbean. Cause they say we only talk hard and do nothing. I know I ain’t paying no bag taxes. Who Vex cause of what I say , that’s your problem. You will be VEX until you get please again.

    • John Everatt July 5, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Nobody is telling you to pay for these plastic bags. Just bring your own. This is now standard in a good part of the civilized world. It is just that Barbados is a late adopter.

  41. Gail Jewel
    Gail Jewel July 5, 2017 at 8:47 am

    We need to stop importing so much plastic and start making strong cloth bags. Paper destroys trees unless it’s recycled paper were using. Barbados needs to learn from countries who have successful environmental programs in place.

  42. Chari Wallin
    Chari Wallin July 5, 2017 at 8:53 am

    The money charged for plastic bags should go towards producing cloth reusable bags…. even here in Canada I question the charge… what is being done with that? Buying more plastic bags to sell?

  43. Ann Szebenyi
    Ann Szebenyi July 5, 2017 at 9:07 am

    15 cents.. too expensive…take cloth bags or make some…good little business for someone who can sew…

    • Mazie Taylor
      Mazie Taylor July 5, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Kerri’s Closet a young lady who can do good sewing

  44. Snowy
    Snowy July 5, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Seen those pathetic looking bags Massy is selling, no thanks. Said this before, want to stop plastics don’t offer them as a choice at the checkout at all, take the same money people have been paying secretly and purchase paper bags and brand them to your business and take consumer thought process out of the equation. That is if you really care about the environment and it isn’t a smokescreen for more revenue /s

  45. Maryam pandor July 5, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I suppose the idea was taken wholesale and applied. This is done worldwide and has had tremendous reductions in “new” plastic bag usage. The reality in Barbados might or might not be a different story.. I for one think the major reason shoppers will continue to pay 15 to 25 cents per plastic bag is because they are not willing to pay 10dlrs+ for reusable bags being sold in the supermarkets. It will take some time to work in though. The best thing for this societymight be to cut the bags all together?

  46. Jan Gibson
    Jan Gibson July 5, 2017 at 10:23 am

    They should let the public know how the money will be spent. Maybe they did but the news has not gotten around to all. I now try to travel with a bag always but there will be times when I will forget.

    • John Everatt July 5, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Great – but that is why you are given the option of buying one.

  47. Carlos July 5, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Great environmental protection initiative; however, persons are “piggybacking” on this idea in an attempt to secure personal financial gain. I have been asking this question from inception. What is the fee being used for?

  48. Truth Seeker July 5, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Omg,finally someone with half a brain.Why is it that we the consumers are always left holding the bag?(No pun intended)

    All this is is a way to pass the cost of plastic bags directly onto the consumer in the guise of being environmentally savvy.

    Because 99% of produce and items packaged for sale are all in some form of plastic or plastic bags. Plastic is an industry, a very lucrative one. This problem is not going too go away by making us pay for it. It needs to be eradicated at the source and we all know that ain’t gonna happen.

    • John Everatt July 5, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      It will if the government stops the importation of plastic bags. In fact think of the free marketing exposure for Barbados that could be gotten from going green like that. But you are right, chances are slim at best.

  49. Tony Waterman July 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I am amazed at how many “EXPERTS” they are in Barbados, who only seem to be able to point out what they perceive to be a Problem with “Whatever”, but NEVER seem to have a CONCRETE solution to the Problem.
    NOW!!! Barbados?Barbadians seem to think that they have been sent by God to Rule things, only they are actually behind the Rest of their compatriots, for Instance, Antigua and Dominica, has as far as i am aware SOLVED the Plastic Bag Issue long ago, they are NO LONGER being imported into those Islands.
    There is a Plethora of Countries whe see it as the right thing to do in getting rid of the Single Use Plastic bag.

    It’s good news for the environment as the Government of Antigua & Barbuda has implemented an ordinance banning the importation and use of the T-shirt plastic bags with effect from July 1, 2016.
    the smaller shops have been given a grace period of about three months to fully come on board, some of them have already stepped up and have been sharing reusable bags while reminding shoppers to bring their reusable bags each time that they shop.

    KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday October 12, 2016 – It seems Jamaica is moving closer to banning not only Styrofoam containers, as fellow CARICOM member nation Guyana has done, but plastic bags as well.
    “The argument against most of the alternatives is usually based in cost, but I posit…that the long-term cost of not removing these items from our waste stream is far greater. It impacts generations today and generations to come.”

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines banned styrofoam products in May 2016 and removed import tax on biodegradable packaging and food containers.

    Haiti bans plastic bags, foam containers-2012

    Why Aruba Just Banned Plastic Bags
    In a public meeting held on June 28, 2016, Aruba’s Members of Parliament unanimously voted in favor of the proposal to ban single-use plastic bags. The proposal was led by Senator Donald Rasmijn together with Omar Harms and yours truly. The law will take effect as of January 1, 2017 where all retailers and vendors will no longer be able to distribute nor sell carry-out plastic bags intended for single-use at the point-of-sale.

    Puerto Rico-Ban on plastic bags goes into effect late Dec.2016.On Dec. 30 and after an educational program, all commercial establishments must cease to provide plastic bags to customers to carry goods.

    Europe’s biggest consumer of plastic bags, Italy, (they use more than 20 billion plastic bags annually) has banned plastic bags as of January 2011.

    In 2007 San Francisco was the first city in the US to ban plastic bags and so far, that translates into 5 million fewer plastic bags every month. Long Beach California and a host of other US cities have followed suit.

    As of January 2011 Malaysia starts the process of banning plastic bags by banning them one day a week.

    Plastic bags have been banned in Bangladesh since 2002, after being found to be responsible for the 1988 and 1998 floods that submerged most of the country.

    The country, which has had a ban on plastic bags for years, has a reputation for being one of the cleanest nations not only on the continent, but in the world.

    1. From May 1, 2017, St Vincent PM Dr Ralph Gonsalves will ban styrofoam products and he has announced the removal of VAT on biodegradable packaging and food containers.
    2. The importation of styrofoam is no longer allowed in Guyana, effective April 1, and the Ministry of Finance was considering tax incentives for importers who are interested in bringing in alternatives.
    3. In 2012, Haiti banned the importation, manufacturing, and marketing of plastic and foam containers. Grenada and Jamaica are getting closer to doing the same.
    4. Aruba, the US Virgin Islands, and Antigua and Barbuda all banned the importation of plastic bags in 2016.
    5. Tobago is taking lead to preserve its environment. On March 24, the Tobago House of Assembly passed a motion to phase out polystyrene foam products on the island.
    6. Over 100 US, European and Asian countries have banned ­styrofoam.

    Then we in Barbados wonder why we are SLOWLY but SURELY being left in the Wake of Others.

    Out Come the Critics with their Big Sticks (RPG)

  50. Alex 3 July 5, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I have to agree that the fees collected in an ideal world could be used for environmental purposes and the retailers are in a conflict of purpose by selling plastic while giving paper but the good doctor is missing a couple of points.
    First, inks and dyes used can be vegetable based and do not need to be toxic at all. Permanence in a one time use item is not needed.
    Second, paper while more environmentally friendly still increases the solid waste component to be managed.
    Wool bags? Really?
    10 yr ago I bought some moderate weight cotton bags. I have a few polyproylene ones as well.
    4 of these bags reside in a bin in the basement of an apartment I rent each spring in Holetown. The other 4 get used all the time. We wash them periodically. They are still in great shape.
    My biggest issue is I will from time to time forget to return them to the car so I have no bag and pay for a plastic bag if the store does not offer paper. I reuse the plastic to relign waste bins.
    In Victoria BC this wee, the city will pass a bylaw banning the point of sale use of any plastic bag and will require a fee for paper bags as well.

  51. jrsmith July 5, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Its all a big con, the only thing you got free from the super markets was the bag, all they need to do change to paper bags , but the question,……………………… if the plastic bags is bad to the environment stop making them , but that wouldn’t happen there is a large corporation involve………….. The same goes for smoking which kills you , so stop making cigarettes , its all the political corporate corruption con……………..

  52. Sylvie July 5, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Where is the law that Future Centre Trust is using to implement this fee for bags?Was a law passed and approved by our Parliament or Government?

  53. Kammie Holder July 5, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Dr Marshall comments as a former associate of the Future Centre Trust are unfortunate however she has a right to her opinion.

  54. Sama man July 5, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Glad to see that some Bajans realise how shady this “initiative” is. I hope you all remember when the supermarkets banded together because they wanted to charge customers for bags, people freaked out and that talk died down. Then they changed the angle and started to heavilily appeal to emotions and a sense of civil resposibility via the media by claiming to want to save the environment. Ha! As some comments above stated, ban plastic bags if your intention is truly wholesome. Tell me how much of that 15 cents is going to help save the enviroment. If you really care about the environment why pipe all that methane naturally produced by the landfill into the sky rather than harness it and use it and drive down the energy bill. So many questions can be asked when environment comes into the equation. Renewable energy*cough* . If you really wanted me to stay stupid and believe folly you shouldn’t have educated me. Stay woke Bajans, there is always an alterior motive.

  55. Kammie Holder July 5, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Reading some of the unresearched comments convinces me Bajans are not into critical thinking nor problem solving and spoilt not to think resilience.

    1) The fee is optional and not a tax
    2) Fee is not hidden but exposed
    3) Persons can take their own bag
    4) Refuse a plastic bag
    5) Pay the Deterrent Fee to Defy the objective
    6) Economic cost to clean up is high
    7) Flooding due to plastic bags
    8) Increased vectors for mosquitos
    9) Reef Suffocation
    10) Flooding in low-income areas due to plastic bag littering
    11) Outbreaks of mosquitos diseases such as Zika, Chik-V in poor areas due to plastic littering.
    12) Landfill machinery often breakdown due to plastic bags used in garbage disposal causing equipment to malfunction. Landfill smells when machinery is non-operational as garbage cannot be covered.

    How many of you care enough and willing to spare a thought for the men at the South Coast Sewerage Plant who have to go daily among faeces in the sewer to remove over 150lbs of plastic daily?

    Oh by the way the system is clogged as I write due to the increased plastic in the sewer after the torrential rainfall, now wunna know why sewerage seeping out de manholes.

    Contact the Future Centre Trust at 625-2020 to offer alternative suggestions.

  56. Kammie Holder July 5, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Let me apologise upfront. It’s a simple commonsense thing, do not pay and then wunna would not have to worry about who going get the meagre 15 cents. Wunna making me laugh with the silly inquisition. If wunna defy the initiative why pay when wunna could take a reusable shopping bag. The aforementioned action of not paying it what we want to achieve. Actually, I had proposed 25 cents but the retailers beat me down to 15 cents.

    Please note some retailers are giving discounts for persons bringing their own bags while others are giving a free reusable shopping bag for purchases above a certain amount.

    Let me say some retailers have seen as much as a 90% drop in plastic bags distribution as they deplete their stock. Retailers of plastic bags have started to import reusable shopping bags, paper plates, paper cups, paper straws and bamboo cutlery such as forks. We must collectively be the change we want to see and think of future generations.

  57. Kammie Holder July 5, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Let me apologise upfront. It’s a simple commonsense thing, do not pay and then wunna would not have to worry about who going get the meagre 15 cents. Wunna making me laugh with the silly inquisition. If wunna defy the initiative why pay when wunna could take a reusable shopping bag. The aforementioned action of not paying it what we want to achieve. Actually, I had proposed 25 cents but the retailers beat me down to 15 cents.

    Please note some retailers are giving discounts for persons bringing their own bags while others are giving a free reusable shopping bag for purchases above a certain amount.

    Let me say some retailers have seen as much as a 90% drop in plastic bags distribution as they deplete their stock. Retailers of plastic bags have started to import reusable shopping bags, paper plates, paper cups, paper straws and bamboo cutlery such as forks. We must collectively be the change we want to see and think of future generations.

  58. Teddy July 5, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Simple. Shop with a reusable bag, backpack, or even suitcase. No pollution and no money funneling into a secret account. What’s the fuss?

  59. Andrew Simpson July 6, 2017 at 7:00 am

    A penny saved is a penny earned. It’s not what you make but what you save that counts. Prevention is better than cure.
    Carrot and stick methodology can work wonders at changing behaviors and so stores participating in the initiative to reward those who practice environmental stewardship or charging a punitive price for single use plastic bags will benefit us all in the long run.

  60. Mike July 7, 2017 at 6:05 am

    I have decided to stop shopping at the first supermarket that charged me the fee. That supermarket will not see me again if I dont have my own plastic bad. They should have had alternative bags free of charge as a give back to the community. But with the increase of taxes, I reusing my plastic bads until free reusable bags are made available.


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