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Bag the Plastic, BECOME Green

Phase II of Plastic Bag Reduction Campaign

Following the ground-breaking success of last year's plastic bag reduction campaign, Cayman BECOME is now embarking on another round of campaigning to further reduce the use of plastic bags on the Islands.

Last year's drive saw Foster's, Hurley's and Kirk supermarkets replacing all non-degradable plastic shopping bags with biodegradable plastic versions while also introducing a charge of 5 cents per bag. Phase I of the campaign specifically promoted the use of reusable shopping bags instead of plastic and encouraged members of the community to bring their own reusable bags when they shop, in support of the campaign.

This slashed the number of plastic bags ending up in the landfill each month, with an initial reduction of up to 80% of the number of plastic bags being sold in the supermarkets. It has also led to many spin-off projects funded by the 'plastic bag money', including a recent $20,000 donation to fight lionfish.

Building on this success and to ensure that people keep the good habit going, the Corporate Green Team Network is launching a next phase - with a new twist: Starting this Saturday, 10 December, every second Saturday of every month, supermarkets will remove all plastic shopping bags pressing shoppers to either bring their own bags from home or purchase environmentally-friendly, re-usable bags.

"We are confident that this next step will be supported by shoppers who recognize the importance of protecting the environment for current and future generations," said Network member Wendy Williams.

The Corporate Green Team was formed in June 2009 when Deloitte and the Sustainable Development Unit of the Department of Environment (DoE) struck up a partnership to promote and support increasing awareness and implementation of environmental projects and sustainability initiatives in the Cayman Islands.

The Network's main aims are to offer members support in environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in the workplace, to generate new ideas and to pool efforts in sharing these experiences with a wider audience. Members are also committed to pursuing particular sustainability issues together outside of their "Green Team" internal groups, which they feel could make a difference in encouraging environmental responsibility and sustainability in the community as a whole.

As a first project, the Network launched its plastic bag reduction campaign. Since then, the Network has also started an aluminium can recycling programme following the idea of a KPMG network member. Currently, three condo developments - George Town Villas, Emerald Beach Club and Cayman Crossing - are onboard. They each have installed special recycling bins, with local company, Recycling Services, collecting the cans and sending them off island for recycling.

For more information on these projects, the Corporate Green Team Network, Cayman BECOME or what to expect from the latest campaign, visit www.caymanbecome.ky or email: Cayman BECOME.