Barbara Gloudon said Jamaica was being buried under plastic and should emulate Bermuda which is currently debating whether to stop the importation shopping bags. Earlier this month Government announced in the Throne Speech that a ban on plastic bags was being considered.

Works Minister Derrick Burgess later told the House of Assembly since many of the bags were not biodegradable, they could clog the environment for up to 400 years and cause serious ecological harm. "We are proposing to ban plastic bags," he said, adding, "plastic bags have been around since 1950. Some of those bags will still be around today. Right now, you can get the biodegradable corn-starch bags instead of plastic bags, so there are alternatives to plastic."

The island's environmentalists have hailed the proposed ban while Bermuda's retailers have been more muted in their reaction, saying replacing plastic shopping bags with the paper variety would be expensive and the costs would invariably have to be passed on to Bermudian consumers.

Ms Gloudon, a long-established media figure and public relations executive in Jamaica, applauded Bermuda's stance in her most recent "Jamaica Observer" column. "Bermuda is planning to follow China and impose a ban on plastic bags," she said.

"We refer to them as 'scandal bags', and scandal it is for true, in the way they have multiplied and populated the land. To the environmentally conscious, they're a menace to society. To others who see them only as a means of fetching and carrying, there's nothing wrong. Although being a comparatively small land mass out there in the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda is big enough to acknowledge the bags for what they are – a menace to society. Handy though they might be in bringing home the stuff from grocery or market, or serving as repositories for disposal of waste in places where no such facilities exist, we will have to wise up to the environmental damage."

" .... Bermudans are so determined, they've debated the issue. They are not afraid, it seems, to take a decision not only for today but for all the tomorrows, so why can't we? Their proposal to rid their environment of the noxious plastic bags is to impose legal sanctions against householders who put them in the garbage or dump them at sea. Could we achieve that here? Who would have the will to enforce such a law? So, 400 years of environmental annihilation is kinda far away, but could we try being enlightened enough to save some of the planet for today, even if tomorrow is not on the calendar?"

http://bernews.com/2010/11/columnist-jamaica-should-follow-bermudas-lead/

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