Turks and Caicos Plastic Bag Ban: Help your Tourist Destination by Bringing Bags

On May 1st, 2019, the Turks and Caicos Islands will institute a nationwide ban on single use plastic bags. This means that patrons of the grocery store will need to either bring reusable grocery bags with them to shop or purchase in store.

This is wonderful news for conservationists and nature lovers since plastic waste can have a huge impact on marine ecosystems.

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A floating plastic bag can look a lot like a jellyfish lunch to the beautiful Turks and Caicos sea turtles (Three types of sea turtles you can spot in TCI: Leatherback, Loggerhead and Hawksbill.) So, reducing or stopping altogether your use of plastic bags on island could help save a sea turtle! 

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Other ways you can help reduce your plastic trash impact while on vacation:

Recycle: We have all heard of recycling! Recycling on the island can be a bit more difficult than at home since there are no retrieval services. But, for guests staying in Turtle Cove, there are bins quite close! At the Suzy Turn roundabout entrance to Turtle Cove, there are a few blue recycling bins near the Veterinarian’s Office. The TCI Waste and Disposal Service offers to recycle the following items:

Glass bottles

Plastic bottles

Aluminum cans

Cardboard

Rethink/Reinvent: Ask yourself, do I really need this item? Is there a substitute I could easily change to that would make a lesser impact on my net trash production? Questioning daily habits could produce some wonderful substitutes that could significantly help the environment and could actually be more cost effective!

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Example: Instead of buying a giant case of plastic water bottles, perhaps you could buy large re-usable jugs of water and fill reusable water bottles. The large re-usable jugs are less money per serving of water and you’re saving all those plastic water bottles!

Refuse: As consumers, we often purchase items that may go to waste. We have all been there; purchasing produce (in plastic bags) and feeling bad a week later when we throw out the wilted berries or broccoli. Becoming mindful and realistic of our eating habits could help us produce less waste.

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Example on Island: Greens often go bad quickly on island. Think about it: that bag of spinach has likely been in a large shipping container for a number of days before it made it to the grocery store. If you do buy greens, be sure to look at the bag really well and cook or eat them immediately. 

Reduce: Make decisions that reduce your trash production. The reusable water bottle is a great example of this, but other ideas include bringing reusable plastic bags to shop, bringing mason jars or other containers to fill with nuts/beans/flour/etc at grocery stores, and telling the togo counter that you don’t need the plastic cutlery or bag when you grab food togo and will eat at home. (It take almost the same amount of energy to carry a togo container that a container in a bag.)

Read more useful blogs here.

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