Friday, June 6, 2008

Barbadian Bags and Filth in the Phillipines

On the international front in two different island nations, there is a concern about plastic bags. First in Barbados, the Nation News writes about a pilot project by a local supermarket chain, with the help of an environmental group, to promote reusable shopping bags.
Early last month, managing director of SuperCentre, David Neilands, and Carlton and Emerald City's Andrew Bynoe said they, along with Jordan's Supermarket, were working together in an effort to reduce the millions of plastic bags they dished out yearly to customers, while seeking to trim operating costs and reduce the amount of bags ending up in the landfill.

SuperCentre alone imports about 14 million bags a year at a cost of over $1 million.

Neilands said then that if the survey proved successful, they would look at bringing in larger quantities. "[It] is important to get a real sense of what kind of commitment is genuinely out there for people to use the bag," he added.

With the rising cost of petroleum impacting the movement of goods, it's interesing to see that the import of bags enters into the equation. Read the rest of the piece here. In the Philippines there is concern over the pollution that's being caused by plastic bags. A number of environmental groups, including one called
the EcoWaste Coalition recently staged an advocacy walk to raise awareness of the problems that plastic bags cause and to promote reusable bags.

Our addiction to plastic bags is already taking a heavy toll on the environment. We see them strewn all over, dirtying our streets, clinging to fences, and polluting our water bodies. Even the sky has not escaped being defiled by buntings made of plastic bags," said Alvarez, who is also the vice-president of the EcoWaste Coalition.

A study made by the EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace Southeast Asia in 2006 shows that 76% of the floating trash in Manila Bay are mostly synthetic plastic materials, with plastic bags comprising 51%, sachets and junk food wrappers 19%, Styrofoams 5% and hard plastics 1%. The rest are rubber 10% and biodegradable discards 13%.
Read more about their efforts here.