People are generally opposed to change, however, in some cases change must be insisted upon for the greater good.
In terms of our environment, there is no denying the fact that Barbados has a serious garbage problem. It has led to repeated calls for an improved garbage collection service, greater enforcement of illegal dumping laws, and a sustainable solution to our current landfill crisis. It has also led to calls for Barbadians to be more responsible and recycle, hence cutting down on much of the waste they produce daily. With this in mind, any steps put in place to force individuals to make better choices, if only for our children’s sakes, are welcome.
To this end, we applaud the soon-to-be-implemented ban on the importation, use and sale of petroleum-based plastics, set to commence on April 1st. This move aims to reduce the number of plastic items being discarded by the public and got the ball rolling with the push to use reusable bags instead of the customary plastic bags at retailers for the past several months. While the impending ban is on petroleum-based single use cups, cutlery, straws, plates, plastic or Styrofoam egg trays, or any Styrofoam used in the food retail industry, January 1, 2020 is the date given to the local players in that sector to produce bio-based plastic bags instead of what pertains presently.
Support green push
Having been brought to national attention since last year, by now Barbadians should have made the mental adjustment to find alternatives to plastic bags for their purchases at the point of checkout, and food vendors should likewise be equipped with the knowledge of where to find alternatives to petroleum-based plastics. We
encourage every consumer to support this green push and foster similar practices within our families and in our youth.
One local company that has positioned itself in front of this change is BICO Limited, with its Vegware line of products – a fully compostable alternative to Styrofoam featured in a wide range of food and beverage containers.
Speaking specifically to BICO’s Vegware plant-based catering disposables at a recent press conference, Executive Chairman Edwin Thirlwell noted that Vegware “is the gold standard in biodegradable packaging”, as it breaks down in twelve weeks. This would alleviate challenges facing our environment.
Additionally, if stakeholders can be convinced to develop a manufacturing base for these bio-degradeable items, then it could assist the local economy by providing jobs, reducing imports and creating a potential export product within the region.
In the final analysis, although making a change in behaviour may be inconvenient or a little more expensive than what one is accustomed, one really can’t afford to sit back and do nothing. Barbadians are therefore encouraged to get behind the ban and change old, destructive habits before it is too late.