A change.org campaign that aims to ban plastic bags in the Cayman Islands needs about 200 additional supporters to meet its signature goal.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the petition had 1,296 signatures toward its goal of 1,500.

Organizer Claire Hughes said the campaign hopes to raise awareness about pollution in the islands and push government and business to take a greener approach toward single-use plastics.

“The Cayman Islands should show the world that our marine environment is of the utmost importance to us by banning single-use plastic grocery bags completely,” the campaign page says.

Ms. Hughes explained the environmental threat plastic bags pose to marine life, which may confuse the bags for food. She said the problem has been exacerbated in Cayman due to lack of recycling options and inadequate public education.

To keep bags out of Cayman’s waters, she said the islands need to go further than annual Earth Day cleanups and embrace a lifestyle change.

“They’re [the plastic bags] just a convenience. We don’t need them. We’ve managed long enough without them. It’s a case of remembering your reusable bag or coffee cup,” she said.

Ms. Hughes encouraged businesses to consider alternatives to plastic, such as reusable straws.

Eventually, she hopes businesses will be given incentives to switch from plastics to more ecological options. In the meantime, she said, individuals can cut down plastic waste by buying reusable grocery bags, refusing plastic straws, and carrying reusable water bottles.

The petition can be found at http://bit.ly/2pXhOAt or by searching change.org.

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  1. One must be careful about unintended consequences. Plastic bags are cheap because they are mostly made from abundant natural gas that is released into the atmosphere if not used, so in that way, they are good for the environment. The environmental impact of manufacturing and regularly washing cloth bags is greater than the impact of either paper or plastic and the healthcare cost due to people not washing them has increased significantly where cloth is encouraged. Rather than a ban, increasing public awareness about the dangers of improper disposal might be a better option.

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