July 18, 2019
The Ministry of Environment & Housing announced today that telecommunications network provider, ALIV, is leading the charge as the first corporate sponsor of the Plastic Free 242 campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the proposed national single-use plastics ban that will take effect on January 1, 2020, across The Bahamas. The “4-bidden Four” single-use plastic items that will be banned from importation as of that date are plastic bags, Styrofoam containers and cups, plastic utensils and plastic straws. The release of balloons into the air will also be made illegal on this date.
“We cannot move toward a plastic-free Bahamas without the participation of the private sector,” said the Hon. Romauld Ferreira, Minister of Environment & Housing, while announcing the partnership. “We’re very pleased to have ALIV join us in this effort. Nothing can happen in a society without the collective effort of government and corporate entities. We thank and commend ALIV for embracing this initiative and look forward to a very fruitful partnership with them as we work to improve the quality of life of all Bahamians.”
Sasha Lightbourne, ALIV Media Champion, explained why ALIV is eagerly supporting the campaign. “ALIV’s commitment to Bahamians has always been and continues to be delivering a world-class network, an exemplary customer service experience, and steady innovations in technology all while honoring our commitment to improve our customers’ lives by helping to meaningfully transform the country. In honor of this commitment, we are more than excited to support this necessary and progressive initiative from the Ministry of Environment & Housing in any way we can.”
Lightbourne continued, “In addition to supporting the Ministry’s efforts to get the message about the plastic ban out to Bahamians, we’ve implemented several initiatives within our company to make it as plastic-free as possible. For example, we no longer store plastic cups and utensils for employees at our stores and offices. We also give away reusable ALIV bags when issuing prizes and other ALIV products.”
Since the launch of the campaign in May, the Ministry of Environment and Housing has distributed over 5,000 reusable bags at food stores, schools, town hall meetings, farmers markets, and other events in Nassau, Grand Bahama and Abaco. The Ministry’s team has also engaged thousands of Bahamians and international fans by sharing engaging, thought-provoking content on social media in partnership with BREEF, the Bahamas National Trust, and other organizations. More activities will be scheduled over the next few months as the January 1, 2020 implementation date draws near.
Minister Ferreira outlined the significance of this critical initiative. “The real issue here is microplastics. All plastics degrade into microplastics, which studies have confirmed have been found in fish in Bahamian waters. Scientists estimate that if we don’t act soon, we’ll have more microplastics in the ocean than fish. As a small-island state, we’re extremely vulnerable when it comes to being affected by these kinds of issues. It’s critical that Bahamians join the effort to reduce plastic pollution to preserve our health, our environment, and our way of life.”