BEST praises moves to ban single use plastics
Government plans to eliminate single-use plastics have been applauded by an environmental campaign group.
The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) said it welcomed the move and called for urgent action on the issue.
Last week Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, said that a public information campaign and consultation with businesses will take place this year with the goal of banning the importation of some products next year.
He said: “Together we can make the effort to eliminate single-use plastics, to play our part in reducing climate change, to stop marine litter and improve public health.”
A statement released by BEST said: “The Minister listed three areas impacted by plastics in his statement – climate change, ocean pollution and human health. We should be aware that these areas are all linked.
“While most of us now recognise the dangers of climate change, the long timeline makes it difficult for people to understand the need to make urgent changes to mitigate the threat.
“However, the timeline for the health impacts of the plastic chemicals, that we unknowingly consume on a daily basis, is much faster than we will experience from climate change.
“The time for action is now.”
According to BEST, the most common single-use plastics in Bermuda are plastic shopping bags, drink bottles, take-out food containers, cups, straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates.
It said that chemicals in these items have been linked to a catalogue of health issues, including asthma, breast cancer, obesity and diabetes. Male fertility is also believed to be impacted by the chemicals, known as phthalates.
The statement said: “It is good therefore that the Minister has recognised the importance of reducing our exposure to plastics.
“Everyone needs to realise that banning single-use plastics is not just about preventing turtles from choking on plastic bags, although that happens too.
“In reality, our very existence may actually depend on taking this very small first step to reduce our exposure to these harmful chemicals.
“We also support the timeline proposed and the recognition of the need for further public consultation.”