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Last November, the US Embassy launched an exciting initiative in Belmopan, Belize that focused on harnessing small public private partnerships to reduce the excessive use of plastic bags and improve the local environment. The initiative was so popular in Belmopan that it has now been introduced to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

As part of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP)’s commitment to reduce plastics on San Pedro, on January 18th, the VIP San Pedro Chapter contacted the US Embassy, making them aware of the growing bio-degradable pollution on the island and requesting the introduction of their Recyclable Shopping Bag Program in San Pedro.

The US Embassy accepted the invitation and tasked the VIP to contact supermarkets which would be interested in participating. Through these efforts, Super Buy, Save On and The Baker gladly accepted to participate and be part of this very important environmental program. Collaborating with the three businesses on Ambergris Caye, the US Embassy launched the program today, April 22, 2015, to coincide with Earth Day 2015.

“Through the use of recyclable bags we can prevent the overuse of plastic bags and the buildup of trash in our parks and streets,” states the US Embassy of Belize. "Just ask for a free U.S. Embassy reusable bag next time you visit one of these locations to make a purchase!"

Other vendors and store owners in other parts of Belize should contact us at [email protected] if they are interested in participating in this program as well!!!

VIP Party Pushes Recycle Shopping Bag Program in Ambergris Caye

Recyclable shopping bags provided to Super Buy and Save on Groceries Plus by the US Embassy Belize

The recyclable bags have been provide at no cost to Save On Groceries Plus, Super Buy and The Baker who in turn will provided them to their repeat and valued customers. When their customers return to shop with the bags they will receive a 5% discount on their purchase. It is a great incentive for shoppers to use the bag and consume less plastic bags that are detrimental to our environment.

The VIP thanks the participating stores and encourages other establishments to join this initiative. The party also encourages residents to use the bags and reduce the dependency on plastics and takes the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Clean Earth Day! The U.S. Embassy applauds the efforts of all organizations that promote recycling programs and preserving the environment in Belize. (Note: As a point of policy, the U.S. Embassy does not partner with any political parties when promoting its foreign policies and goals. The partnerships for the recyclable bag program were between the U.S. Embassy and the individual stores.)

“Let’s make everyday an Earth Day!”

VIP Party Pushes Recycle Shopping Bag Program in Ambergris Caye

* About 1 million plastic bags are used every minute worldwide. A single plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade. Every square mile of ocean has about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it. Let’s start/continue making a difference.

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Dorian Nuñez

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