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Makin’ Waves stops use of plastic bags

Policy change: Stuart Joblin and Jade Williams made environmental decision (Photograph by Caroline Skinner)

Makin’ Waves has stopped importing plastic bags and is encouraging customers to opt for reusable containers instead.

Jade Williams, the manager of the surf shop in Hamilton and a buyer for the store, spearheaded the switch.

Stuart Joblin, a co-owner of Makin’ Waves, told The Royal Gazette: “Jade pestered us relentlessly for three years to stop bringing in plastic bags. Her idea was that we may not be able to solve the problem, but we don’t need to be a part of it.”

Makin’ Waves, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, stopped importing plastic bags in January and had signage promoting the use of reusable bags installed early last week.

Ms Williams said: “Makin’ Waves is all about the water, so plastic bags are a way to get the conversation going.

“We saw an image of a turtle with a plastic bag stuck in its throat and decided that we needed to start somewhere. We need to get people thinking about it. We want people to start changing their behaviour.”

Mr Joblin said: “Plastic is a problem. It is a problem that we contribute to every single day. You can’t get away from it, but you can certainly reduce your contribution.

“We might not be the solution, but let’s not contribute more to the problem than is necessary. If we can do that at Makin Waves by just not using plastic bags, that’s the first step.”

As an alternative, the store is selling reusable bags for $2.

Mr Joblin said: “We ask every customer, do you need a plastic bag?

“We try to encourage people through all of our advertising, and our new signage, to bring their own bags.”

The pair hope the Bermuda Government will begin to introduce more environmentally friendly policies.

Ms Williams said: “If somewhere as big as New Zealand can ban plastic straws and plastic bags, then we can definitely do it.”