Aruba Makes A Clean Sweep With Plastic Bag Ban

Environmentalists in Aruba have taken a further step forward in making the island one of the cleanest in the Caribbean with a ban on plastic carrier bags.
Reef Care Aruba
Reef Care Aruba
Sept. 20, 2016 - PRLog -- The Dutch Caribbean island's parliament has unanimously approved the ban from January 1, 2017.  From that date, all shops will no longer be allowed to provide or sell plastic bags intended for single use.

The move comes as the island – which already has a policy of becoming fossil fuel-free by 2020 – gears up for two major annual clean-up initiatives, with tourists invited to join in.

The Aruba Reef Care Project is the best-known and largest volunteer environmental initiative on the island. Launched in 1994, it now attracts more than 1,000 participants who every September scour the beaches and dive and snorkel various sites in a massive clean-up effort. This year the clean-up takes place on September 25.

Supported by public and private sector businesses, the Reef Care Project raises awareness of the importance of preserving the marine environment and volunteers gladly give up a few hours of their day to pick up any debris. Anyone interested in helping can contact Castro Perez by email on; Facebook – Reef Care Aruba

And November 5 sees the annual coastal clean-up. Sponsored by the Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association for the 16th consecutive year, this national clean-up day concentrates on areas near and along the coastline. Again, visitors are invited to take part, with gloves, collecting bags and refreshments provided.

Naturally, a proportion of the debris collected includes plastic bags. It is estimated that around 30 million single-use plastic bags are used every year in Aruba. Of these, a large proportion is used by the 1.2 million visitors to the island.

There is a strong environmental movement on the island, with a recognition of the challenge of managing waste, which is crucial on an island with an economy so closely linked to tourism.

A concept of 'refuse, reduce, reuse and respect, has been instilled in the community and locals are also being encouraged to support the ban on plastic bags.

For more information about Aruba, go to
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