A huge leap toward eliminating the negative effects of plastic grocery bags on island and marine life occurred this week when the U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature passed a bill banning these unnecessary bags from the Territory.
The vote was unanimous.
In addition to leadership by the bill's sponsor, Sen. Nereida Rivera-O'Reilly, thanks goes to the Island Green Living Association's energetic stewardship of this effort. Under Island Green's President Harith Wickrema's leadership, the organization helped to develop bill language plus provided testimony for this cause (including our own Doug White, an Island Green founder and officer).
“It is vital to recognize our Governor Kenneth Mapp, who sent to the legislature the three bills including banning plastics bags as well as recycling initiatives, and Sen. Marvin Blyden, who continues to help us in making these bills become a reality," said Wickrema. "Certainly a team effort.”
The movement toward bringing your own bag to the grocery store (best option) and paper-bag alternatives (beats plastic by a mile) has been taking hold all year on St. John.
This includes Starfish Market's wonderful decision to self-ban plastic takeaway bags from their store. And as PFI:STJ's own Erin Leib recently noted, Dolphin Market is incentivizing BYO bags and generously discounting your grocery bill when you do. (Here's hoping Dolphin will go ahead and remove single-use plastic bags from their inventory sooner rather than later.)