At a recent political event, Minister McLean has asked to be given another four years to finish projects he has started in respect to the current landfill situation, as well as the implementation of recycling programmes.
Whilst the Cayman Islands is in desperate need to see these projects completed and implemented, I was wondering why there can’t be anything done to minimize the production of garbage in the first instance.
For example, the use of plastic bags should be banned, giving retailers one year to fade out the use of plastic bags and come up with alternative solutions (paper bags made from recycled paper or reusable shopping bags). It may appear strange and annoying at first, but everyone would be getting used to this very quickly as this has been successfully done in other countries.
Also, restaurants and bars should no longer be allowed to use throw away plastic cups and containers when drinks or food are served on their premises. If glass is an issue (because of bare feet), dishwasher safe plastic cups and plates need to be used instead.
Take out containers should be biodegradable and Government should encourage the use of these by reducing duty on these items.
Parents and teachers need to remind children to bring their lunch in reusable containers rather than in individual zip lock bags and bottles, which are thrown away after one use (it is cheaper to fill water or juice in a reusable bottle than to buy individual size juice boxes or water bottles).
These are just a few examples of what could be done to minimize garbage, and unfortunately it will require the Government to implement some of these rules and regulations as human nature gravitates to the easiest way, rather than looking at the long term aspects. I therefore encourage whoever will take over this portfolio to not sit and wait for recycling programmes to be implemented, but to look at creative ways to minimize the production of garbage in the first instance.