Around 6 million plastic bags are imported into the Cayman islands annually, but one supermarket is aiming to cut that number by one million, with a new zero plastics policy. This week Hurley’s Supermarket became the first on the island to remove all plastic from its operations, a move welcomed by some customers. “Everyone else like the small retail outlets should do it as well. It’s just great for Cayman, for the environment, it’s great globally,” said Mr. Greg Reid.
General Manager Michael Miller said trading out plastic bags comes at a cost, but is worth it. “It’s going to be much better for the environment. We decided to take a little bit more of the hit with that so that the customers could use these bags. They can actually reuse these bags when they get home,” said Mr. Miller.
In addition to discontinuing single-use plastic bags, Hurley’s has also replaced plastic straws, Styrofoam deli containers and plastic salad containers with recyclable, environmentally friendly alternatives.
Robert Henning said he’s worried about Cayman’s garbage problem, that is why he is glad plastic bags are no longer an option at the supermarket. “It’ll keep the plastic, which takes a long time to degrade, out of the dump, so I think it’s a good idea.”
To go green, customers will now pay 10 cents for the paper bags. “I think it’s an inconvenience at times but it’s a good thing,” said Mr. Hennings. Hurley’s Supermarket underwent a renovation recently, the management there said the plastic-free initiative is part of the store’s overall upgrade.
Plastic Free Cayman founder Claire Hughes said, in a statement on the change at the supermarket, said, “We are so thankful to Hurley’s for taking this monumental step. Single-use plastic bags continue to litter our beautiful island and surrounding waters. With other countries making bans on single-use plastics this shows we don’t have to wait for government to make changes, we can simply stop using them as it’s the right thing to do. We hope to see other stores in Cayman follow suit in the near future.”