Today’s Editorial: Stunning numbers

POSTED: 01/29/11 1:29 PM

Market Garden has abolished all plastic grocery bags in its store and it is looking into replacing the remaining plastic in its vegetable department with a biodegradable alternative as well. Kudos, of course, but the numbers store manager Tannehill revealed, shows how much more work there is to be done.
If we stay on the low end, this one supermarket used to use 10,000 plastic bags every week. There are forty supermarkets listed in our yellow pages and we are pretty sure that that listing is incomplete. Not all these stores are the size of Market Garden, but if we placed just a quarter of them in the same category, these stores alone would use 100,000 plastic bags per week, or 5.2 million per year. Add for the other supermarkets fifty percent of this total, and the low estimate for plastic grocery bags on our side of the island stands around 7.5 million plastic bags per year.
The situation is of course much worse, because all other stores on the island use plastic bags as well. They may be of a different kind, but plastic it is, and it all adds up to stunning numbers.
We all know where those bags end up and what they do to our environment and our health. And still no politicians has stood up and said: enough is enough. We have enough problems as it is, away with those plastic bags in all supermarkets.
It is excellent that there are stores like Market Garden and Cakehouse that take the initiative, but to solve the real problem, the government has to step in and order a ban on all plastic.

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