A Cleaner Bonaire will require Joint Effort

Kralendijk – Bonaire will soon be legislation for a ban on disposable plastics. The plan has been forged and the draft regulation is being finalized.

The next three years will be devoted to the reduction of disposable plastics on the island. In the first year, a start will be made by banning the distribution of disposable plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, carrier bags, and meal packs.

Island Governor Edison Rijna is a great proponent of the new ban. “Nature on our island is our greatest asset. We can be proud of it. In 2018, a motion was already submitted to the Island Council to ban certain types of disposable plastic. When I walk around the island I am always amazed at what waste is left behind – by young and old, by residents and tourists alike”.

Rijna points out that many of the island’s beaches are used as an ashtray. “Research indicates that nearly 10,000 cigarette filters have been found on Te Amo beach in the past two years. Did you know that cigarette filters are made of plastic and therefore do not decay? Pollution on our island is not the only reason to reduce plastic use. Our landfill on Lagun is almost full. A decrease in the amount of plastic waste that is dumped is therefore higly desirable”, said Rijna.

In recent years, a misunderstanding has arisen about ordinary plastics and plastics that partly consist of natural materials and are supposedly better for the environment. These plastics have the same properties as normal plastics. They do not break down in nature and thus contribute to pollution. For that reason, bioplastics will also fall under the plastic ban.

Sushi or Dushi?

Various activities will take place in the coming months to tell about the upcoming legislation, the negative consequences of plastic and replacement products. The first event organized by the World Wildlife Fund has already started: the Sushi or Dushi challenge, where everyone is called on to spend ten minutes cleaning up litter. Lieutenant Governor Rijna: “The Spatial Planning and Development Department has already participated and I hope that many others will follow.”

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