Overuse of plastic products tackled

The Rotary Club of Dominica has teamed up with the Solid Waste Management Corporation, the health department, Environment Unit and three supermarkets to officially launch its 4R’s Environmental Project: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle-Reclaim.

Officials say the aim of the project is to reduce of the use of plastics on the island; promote the reuse and recycling of plastic products; and reclaim the nature island image.

President of the Rotary Club Marvlyn Birmingham said the club wants to sensitize the public on the overuse of plastics and the damage that it can do to the environment.

“Dominica is promoted worldwide as the Nature Isle of the Caribbean, which means that it is clean and green,” she said. “However current practices in the use and disposal of plastics threaten this status. Plastic is overused and indiscriminately disposed of along roadways, in drains and rivers and on beaches. The non biodegradable nature of plastic allows it to persist in the environment for thousands of years and negatively impact the health of humans, animals and the environment.”

Birmingham noted that the Rotary Club has also teamed up with the Rotary Club of Boardman, Ohio to provide an initial 1,050 bio-degradable shopping bags to the public.

Meantime Birmingham is also encouraging the public to revert to the old days of using shopping bags and baskets.

“However the success of the project depends on a complete change in the mindset of Dominicans in terms of shopping habits and methods of plastic waste disposal,” she said.

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25 Comments

  1. Anne Winn
    May 31, 2018

    Government could assist the Rotary Club of Dominica’s efforts, by imposing an elevated duty on non-biodegradable shopping bags, styrofoam, and other plastic disposables that reflects the excess handling and landfilling required to dispose of such products. Simply by making biodegradable products comparable in cost would go a long way to changing the habits of Dominican and improving the state of our Nature Island image.

  2. Anonymous
    April 20, 2014

    we should keep environment clean

  3. Anonymous
    April 20, 2014

    it is good to keep environement clean

  4. its about time
    March 14, 2012

    Since the early 80’s living in London, you had to pay for your ‘carrier bags’ as they are called, plastic bags. So we simply carried our bags when going shopping. Today I have all my shopping bags and when I get to the checkout at the local supermarkets here they still put the groceries in plastic bags even though I say, save the bags. So, this has to be a collaborative effort with an education drive so people understand why this is important. Astaphans and Issa Trading sell reusable shopping bags, thumbs up to them. Great, better late than never. Go Green :)

  5. JB
    March 14, 2012

    In some paerts of the world,takeaway foods are wrapped in banana leaves and then newspaper to take the place of styrofoam.
    We could certainly try that here.

  6. CHARMER
    March 13, 2012

    That is a very good move for the Nature Isle. We can do it. It may be difficult for some to accept change, but it can happen. In Guadeloupe, it is fun having two large reusable shopping bags, that many little plastic bags in your hand. We can get used to that here in beautiful nature Dominica.

  7. Anonymous
    March 13, 2012

    Wow, old appliances tossed in rivers? come on gov step up your game,that’s unacceptable!!

  8. Jahknow
    March 13, 2012

    Well there is a more environment friendly alternate to those plastic bags and that is biodegradeable plastic bags. Yes they are plastic but they degrade rapidly in heat and UV light(sunlight).These bags are not resuable as they degrade so rapidly.

    • April 2, 2012

      Jahknow, the bags you’re referring to are not true biodegradable bags. They are known as oxo-degradable. They are plastic bags made from petroleum with a compound added that causes them to fragment (not biodegrade) under certain circumstances including exposure to heat and sunlight. They are worse than the regular plastic bags because they fragment so rapidly making it impossible to remove the micro-plastic particles from the environment. There are, however, certified, genuine biodegradable bags available. They are made from a 70% plant based biopolymers and 30% biodegradable synthetic polymers. They are 100% biodegradable and non-toxic. These bags will not break down in our climate until they are exposed to a combination of heat, moisture and microbe activity similar to the conditions in a landfill or in compost. They can be reused many times before disposal and will then biodegrade within a year.
      Look out for GOOD2GO products. It’s not plastic, it’s fantastic!

      • Earthling
        April 19, 2018

        Great info! Educate people on the difference between bio- degrading and compostables. Get on the recycle bandwagon. Keep Dominica ?? clean and green. For my part when I go shopping with my reuseable sac I leave the excess non recycleable packaging at the store. (eg. Those little wooden crates the tangerines come in).

  9. Nature Boy
    March 13, 2012

    In France they have no plastic bags in supermarkets at all – your only choice is to buy a “bag-for-life”. In UK you have to ask for plastic bags, but they will soon be withdrawn. If you want disposable plates and cups they are paper. Europe knows how to reduce, it is only the US influence that brings such over use of plastic and styrofoam to Dominica.

    • KathyT
      March 13, 2012

      In the US they are attempting to reduce the use of plastic bags, the grocery stores gives a 5 cent credit for each reusable bag used. They also have a recyle program… You can’t blame the USA for the way that Dominica has handled plastics and not protected the environment, that falls on the citizens of Dominica to love and protect the land and rivers.

  10. van
    March 13, 2012

    Stores should start charging customers for plastic bags. If this was the case most customers would provide their own bags, thereby reducing the use of plastic

  11. March 13, 2012

    SORRY ….THESE PLASTIC BAGS ARE A HAZARD TO EVERY ONE INCLUDING ANIMALS.IT TAKES AGES TO DETERIORATE IN THE SOIL….

  12. March 13, 2012

    THESE PLASTIC BAGS ARE A HAZARD TO EVERY ONE INCLUDING ANIMALS.IT TAKE AGE TO DETERIORATE IN THE SOIL…

    BRING BACK THE PAPER BAGS .THE GOV’T SHOULD STOP THE IMPORT OF PLASTIC BAGS IN DOMINICA…THE SOONER THE BETTER FOR EVERY ONE.PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT IS FOR THE GOOD OF EVERY LIVING CREATURE.

    • antedote for fools
      March 13, 2012

      I agree plastic bags should be illegal. In some cities in developing countries they are illegal. Big chains especially are not allowed to use them For grocery shopping people should be encouraged to bring their own bags.

    • Anonymous
      March 13, 2012

      and strofoam containers.

    • BelzboB
      March 13, 2012

      Oh my, this is so sad it’s not funny. The mention of recycling everything from paper to metals have been brought up so many times from so many years ago. Seriously !!! You really want to live on an island where the government can dictate and mandate that the public don’t use plastic bags? Freedoms, even the seemingly little ones shouldn’t be just tossed away people. Let’s work to fix our problems not create more by giving up simple democratic decision making rights.

  13. Peeping Tom
    March 13, 2012

    Merchants should be given incentives to make a quantifiable effort to reduce the volume of non-biodegradable waste in our environment. Additionally, these merchants should alsogive incentives to shoppers who choose to use reusable wrappings, probably through a 5% reduction on the bill. These measures could lead to a gradual change in thinking and attitude towards the use (and misuse) of non-biodegradable material.

  14. Anonymous
    March 13, 2012

    my grocery bags are my garbage bags

  15. Malatete
    March 13, 2012

    This initiative is to be applauded and I support it 100%. Can the campaign also highlight the serious health issues deriving from the indiscriminate burning of plastic waste. Public education on this subject is badly needed. Thank you.

  16. Cyril Volney
    March 13, 2012

    Well done! For THE NATURE ISLAND, we have way too much plastic and styro in our garbage.

  17. Nature Boy
    March 13, 2012

    Yes – let’s do it. Even McDonnalds stopped using styrofoam 10 years ago! Let’s ban it’s use on the Nature Isle, it all goes into landfill and cannot be recycled!

  18. KathyT
    March 13, 2012

    This is great news and a great place to start; and I hope that it is not limited to Roseau. Let’s hope that people use these reusable bags. But it is not only plastic bags that are in the rivers and beaches. What about plastic bottles, styrofoam food containers, old appliances such as stoves and refrigerators, and other trash that people are tossing in the rivers? To get back to “Nature Island” it seems that there needs to be a real effort to clean the rivers, beaches and roadsides.
    It will take effort by shop owners to enforce using reusable bags for shopping. I am in full support of this program……

    • June 22, 2013

      i also want my natureland back,i do not not use platic bags and i hope people will do same and keep nature clean .it is a serious matter.to keep nature clean we should tell everyone we know about keeping nature clean and tell other person to do the same {pass it on}.

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