A grassroots push to eliminate single-use plastic products is gaining steam in Cayman.
Since Plastic-Free Cayman launched its petition to ban single-use plastic bags eleven months ago, more than 4,000 people have added their names. With Earth Day approaching, local activists say the plastic-free movement is just getting started.
“Plastic is cheap, plastic is convenient,” said Chanda Glidden.
“Plastic really is harming your health,” added Darlene Young.
“We need to do something now and we need to change,” said Carlo Lee.
These are sentiments shared by other local activists who have thrown their support behind Cayman’s growing plastic-free movement.
“We all know that single use plastic is the problem, now we have to move into the solutions,” said JD Cameron of Peripheral.
Mr. Cameron said alternatives to plastic drinking straws and plastic bags are just the tip of the single-use iceberg.
“There is no reason why we should still use them, so banning something like that specifically targeting it, I think that’s the first step,” he said.
“It’s not actually that hard, you re-use your plate every day so why can’t you re-use a bag, why can’t you r-use other things in your life,” said Ms. Glidden, a life coach.
She said weaning one’s self from the convenience of plastics may seem a daunting task, but it is do-able.
“I don’t think it is actually as challenging as we think it is, it’s just us changing our mindset on something that you have to practice,” she said.
“It’s not an individual choice, it’s more on the suppliers that need to affect these drastic changes, and they’re not so drastic or hard to implement,” pointed out Mr. Lee, organiser of the Live Music Food and Art Festival scheduled for 8 June.
He said restaurants have a role to play in reigning in single-use plastics.
Tukka’s Lana Hargrave eliminated plastic straws at her restaurant after seeing a heartbreaking viral video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged up its nose.
“That day I saw that video, I got rid of all the straws in the restaurant and I just stopped giving people straws,” she recalled.
That one small step triggered a trend away from plastic straws, but many steps remain in what will likely be a long journey.
“Every little bit helps, every change everyone makes, makes a big difference,” said Ms. Young, of Eat, Breathe, Be Well. “If 1,000 people didn’t take that straw, that’s 1,000 straws not floating out there, so every little bit helps.”
Many of the plastic-free advocates who spoke with Cayman 27 credited documentary films such as ‘A Plastic Ocean’ for opening their eyes to the magnitude of the single-use problem.
Friday 96 April) the Cayman Creperie is hosting a screening of another film spotlighting the issue of plastic straws. The event is free and open to all.