But they are so darned useful, right? Of course they are, and there are times when there just doesn't seem to be an option. For example, you've bought a sandwich and a drink and you're on your bike. And it's raining. And you don't already have a bag to put them in. Or: you've gone grocery shopping and you have to get the groceries home. And you haven't brought any reusable bags to put the groceries in. Or: You've bought a new dress or shirt so the shop gives you a bag. And you haven't got another bag to put the purchase in.· Or: you have bought a few groceries and you want a blue bag so that you can put your recyclables out for collection ... OK, that one works for me. The rest of the time, do you really need it? Just say No Thanks! to the bag.

byob_forgottenbutnotgoneForgotten, but not gone. Bring Your Own Bag. Better for you, better for Bermuda.Taking a single-use bag is part of the convenience lifestyle that we have grown up with. Plastics are everywhere: We drink out of them, eat off of them, sit on them and even drive in them. They are durable, lightweight and can be made into virtually anything. But it is these useful properties of plastics that make them so harmful when they end up in the environment. In parts of the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda floating plastic particles reached in excess of 200,000 pieces per km². ·A recent report (2011) by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environmental Facility stated that "Plastic debris is unsightly; it damages fisheries and tourism, kills and injures a wide range of marine life, has the capacity to transport potentially harmful chemicals and invasive species and can represent a threat to human health".

byob_paperorplasticPaper or Plastic? Neither! Bring Your Own Bag. Better for you, better for Bermuda.We all love free stuff, but plastic bags are not free – the bags that are handed out cost Bermuda stores tens of thousands of dollars a year to purchase. This cost is hidden in your grocery bill. We need to ask our grocery stores to include the bags as a line item so that we have a choice not to pay for them. When people are asked to pay for the bags that they use then usage drops dramatically. In Ireland when a charge was introduced for plastic bags, demand dropped by more than 90%. Plastic bags are banned or taxed in many cities in Europe, the US, England, Australia, Mexico, India and China.·Bangladesh has banned them completely. Rwanda, which has had a ban on plastic bags for years, has a reputation for being one of the cleanest nations in the world.

Paper bags are no better! Did you know that paper bags generate 70% more air and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags. They use 4 times as much energy to manufacture, and are much heavier to ship and bulkier to store – which in Bermuda translates to even more energy used to ship and store them than for plastic bags.

Just say No Thanks! Bermuda. We have a choice!. We as consumers control disposable bag use in Bermuda. We can carry our own bags and say No Thanks! when offered a bag at the check-out. It's our choice.


Learn more about No Thanks!


Article written by Greenrock President Judith Landsberg and appeared in The Royal Gazette on 4th October 2012.

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