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Community : Service Organizations Last Updated: May 24, 2009 - 3:37:13 PM

Rotaract Club of East Nassau & The National Trust in promote reusable bags
By Janine Carey
Mar 3, 2009 - 11:42:46 AM

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(L-R) Christian Knowles, Rande Nicolls, Janine Carey and Sharad Ferguson of the Rotaract Club of East Nassau with Rosita Adderley of The Bahamas National Trust at the Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Health and Financial Fair at the Mall at Marathon. Photo by Ashley Henderson.

Nassau, Bahamas – A local service organization comprised of young professionals and one of The Bahamas’ premier conservation groups joined forces recently at a community health fair to bring awareness of some of the damaging effects that humankind can have on the beautiful Bahamian environment.
The Rotaract Club of East Nassau, a member of Rotary International, and The Bahamas National Trust worked together at the Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Health and Financial Fair at the Mall at Marathon on Saturday, February 28th to bring awareness of the damaging effects of plastic bags on the environment and to promote the use of reusable plastic bags, which help to minimize environment impact.
“This initiative was a great success, and I’m very pleased with the response from the community,” said Janine Carey, Director of Community Service for the Rotaract Club. “Members of the public showed a great deal of interest in a slideshow we had playing showing the damaging effect of plastic bags on the environment, and seemed to absorb and understand the message we were trying to get across. Members of our club became interested in promoting this initiative with the National Trust after being exposed to some of the issues surrounding the topic.”
In an interview with National Geographic, Vincent Cobb, an entrepreneur in Chicago who recently launched the website reusablebags.com, stated that according to his calculations extrapolated from data released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2001 on U.S. plastic bag, sack, and wrap consumption, somewhere between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year.  Of those, millions end up in the litter stream outside of landfills.
According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England which studies the impact of marine debris, the proliferation of the plastic bag has meant a dramatic increase in the amount of bags found floating in the oceans where they choke, strangle, and starve wildlife and raft alien species around the world.
Plastic bag litter has become such an environmental concern and eyesore that Ireland, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia and Bangladesh have heavily taxed the bags or banned their use outright.  Several other regions, including England and some U.S. cities have also followed suit. 
“By the end of the day all of the reusable bags at the fair had been sold. I hope we’ll see people in the community using them when do their grocery shopping,” said Carey. “Every time someone uses one of these bags they help to reduce the amount and subsequent waste of plastic bags, greatly helping the environment.”
Rosita Adderley, a representative of The Bahamas National Trust commented that she was pleased to see interest in membership for The National Trust, which illustrated that community members have an interest in the environmental concerns of our nation. 
The Rotaract Club of East Nassau is a service organization of young professionals, whose efforts are aimed at helping local and international communities. Other projects the club has been involved in include collecting cans on behalf of Cans for Kids and, in September, assisting with the Yamacraw Beach Cleanup. More information can be found online at
www.rotaracteastnassau.org .

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