Plastic Bags Will Be a Thing of the Past

Thank you 31st Legislature for passing the plastic bag regulation bill, as amended.
The Virgin Islands Conservation Society (VICS) thanks Senator Nereida Rivera O’Reilly for introducing Amendment No. 31-1075 to Bill No. 31-0379, Regulation of Plastic Bags; and the full legislature for adopting the amendment, passing the legislation and forwarding it to Governor Mapp for signature.
The plastic bag regulation, as amended to remove all mention of “compostable plastic bags,” will effectively reduce litter along USVI roadsides, on beaches and in the ocean; reduce impacts on sea turtles, marine mammals, and the marine and terrestrial environment; and ultimately will reduce impacts on people who consume fish who ingest and bioaccumulate microscopic plastic fragments that result from the mechanical breakdown of the plastic bags in the marine environment.
Thank you Senators, for listening to the professional testimony presented before the Committee on Housing, Public Works and Waste Management by Judith Enck, USEPA Regional Administrator; Doug White, member of the VI Recycling Partnership; Scott Martin, owner of Caribbean Packaging and VICS, all of whom agreed that compostable plastic bags are no safer in the environment than non-compostable plastic bags.
Thank you Governor Mapp for introducing this legislation. We look forward to your signature enacting it into law. Public education will be critical to achieving effective implementation and public acceptance of the new rules. To this end, VICS offers to work with VI Waste Management Authority and grocers in developing and implementing the public awareness and education campaign that will be required.
Note: Paul Chakroff is the executive director of the Virgin Islands Conservation Society.

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