No more plastic bags for shoppers on Fogo Island
Fogo Island is trying to make the region more green by banning plastic bags in all of its stores.
As of Aug. 1, customers will no longer be provided with plastic, though brown paper bags are available if needed. People are being encouraged to carry reusable bags instead.
His was the first store to join in on a pilot project to ban plastic bags altogether on the island. That initiative, he said, was met with mixed reviews.
"Some people didn't want it at all, some people thought it was great, other people didn't like it — and they still don't like it," said Dawe.
To encourage people to bring in their own bags, Dawe gave two free reusable bags to each customer in October, and held a draw around Christmas for customers bringing in their own bags to win a $25 gift certificate.
However, he said some still aren't sold on the idea.
"Some think I'm crazy to be at it, that it's never going to work and I say well, you've got to try it somewhere if you want to get those plastic bags out of the environment," said Dawe.
"It's just as well for me to start as the next person."
Hope trend catches on
According to Dawe, there were roughly one million bags being used each year on Fogo Island before the ban was put in place.
"If a place the size of Fogo Island is using about a million bags, you can only just imagine how many is being used in all of Newfoundland," he said.
Earlier this year, Makkovik and Postville brought in similar bans on plastic bags. Nain was the province's first community to ban plastic bags, back in 2009.
Dawe hopes the ban will catch on, and encourages other store owners across the province to implement something similar.