Reusable bags catching on

 Local supermarkets are reporting an
increase in demand for reusable shopping bags, and thanks may be due to the
Cayman BECOME campaign.

The campaign, which launched at the
beginning of April, is encouraging the Cayman Islands public to bring their own
reusable bags when they shop and in doing so to become plastic free.

As part of this campaign, the major
local supermarkets will start charging 5 cents per plastic bag from 9 June
onwards.

“Over the month of April we sold
six times the monthly average of reusable bags that we were getting through
last year,” said Raquel Solomon of Foster’s Food Fair.

“The campaign does seem to be
making a real difference.”

Charles Jury from Kirk Supermarket
said the store has also seen a big increase in the number of reusable bags
people are purchasing as well as a significant rise in the number of customers
actually bringing their own bags to the store.

“We estimate around twice as many
of our customers are doing this now, compared to before,” he said.

New signs can now also be seen
outside Foster’s Food Fair stores and Kirk Supermarket to help customers
remember to bring their own bags.

Hurley’s has also seen an increase
in demand for reusable bags.

“Once we got information out in the
store about what is happening with the campaign and the charge, we ran out of
reusable bag stock within a week,” said Vinton Smithson.

“Customers are really taking it on
board and are pleased to be involved in this initiative.”

Upcoming in-store promotions on
reusable bags will provide opportunities to pick up free and discounted bags.
The Cayman BECOME campaign will also be giving away a limited amount of free campaign
branded reusable bags on the morning of 12 June at all Foster’s Food Fair
stores, Kirk Supermarket and Hurley’s.

“It is fantastic news that the
public has been so receptive to the call to action,” said Tara Tvedt from dms
Organization Ltd., a member of the Corporate Green Team Network who has been
joint project managing Cayman BECOME.

“As the word gets out there, more
and more people have started to bring their own bags when they shop. We expect
this to have a significant impact on the 12 million plus plastic bags that are
thrown away annually here on Grand Cayman,” she continued.

“Although this is still a baby step
in terms of addressing the solid waste management issues faced here in the
Cayman Islands, it is a great start and demonstrates that the local community
does care about this issue and is willing to change their habits to make a
difference.”

Cayman Become hopes to encourage
the community to take many of these small steps, which will in the long run add
up to a significant amount of positive change.

For more information on Cayman
BECOME and what to expect, go to www.caymanbecome.ky

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