Not easy being green

Today
the Cayman BECOME campaign to cut plastic bag use kicks off, and supermarkets
will begin charging 5 cents per plastic grocery bag. While customers are being
encouraged to bring their own reusable bags, the plastic bags for sale are now
degradable, a type Hurley’s supermarket, for one, has already been using for
months.

And
while for some being greener may be the obvious choice, Hurley’s Deli Manager
Garry Stephenson can attest not every attempt at going green has been welcomed
with open arms.

In
early 2010 he made the decision to introduce biodegradable take-away containers
at the deli counter to replace its styrofoam and plastic containers.

However,
after two days he had received so many complaints that he had to bring back the
styrofoam containers, but with an attached strategy.

This
time, copies of the Green Guide to the Cayman Islands were placed at the
counter, and a full supply and rack for the Green Guide followed a few days
later.

A
few weeks later, Hurley’s once again got rid of the non-biodegrable containers
from their store and replaced them with eco-friendly alternatives.

The
initiative, coupled with a public education twist, made a big difference.

“There
has been such a huge change, people did not want the eco-friendly containers at
first, but now they are always asking for them,” says Mr. Stephenson.

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