The Bridge Capital LLC partnered with Joeten Enterprises and the Micronesian Islands Nature Alliance to lessen the usage of plastic bags across the CNMI.
For every reusable bag distributed at Joeten Susupe or Joeten Garapan, Bridge Capital donates $1.
MINA, in conjunction with Joeten Enterprises, has hosted numerous Celebrity Bagging events and Taya Plastic Tuesdays over the years, but this was the first time they paired up with Bridge Capital to give away free reusable bags.
The concept of Celebrity Bagging was for community celebrities like government officials, leaders in private agencies, and community role models to come out for one hour and bag groceries while they spread awareness of the benefits of reducing the use of plastic bags.
Celebrities who volunteered their time during the Celebrity Bagging event last Saturday were CNMI representatives, public figures, private company leaders, groups from government agencies, and active community members.
The Celebrity Bagging event is put on every year to discourage the use of plastic bags. Every shopper is given a free reusable bag with every purchase that they can reuse during Taya Plastic Tuesdays, or they can completely substitute the bags for plastic bags.
According to Bridge Capital chief operations officer Tucker Baldwin, MINA is an important organization on Saipan because they continuously help reduce the use of plastic in the CNMI in order to keep the streets clean and the oceans clean.
This was the Bridge Capital’s first year and they decided to up the ante by giving away free bags instead of having customers purchase them themselves.
“What we’re doing in bridge, we’re upping the ante a little bit. We’re trying to make sure the people get the bags that they need to participate. Everybody will take a bag home today and they can re-use that on Taya Plastic Tuesdays so they don’t have to buy another bag…This gives the community more resources to fight environmental pollution,” he said.
During the Celebrity Bagging event, MINA also set up an informational booth outside Joeten Susupe and Joeten Garapan to educate anyone interested on how plastic bags can affect marine life while also polluting the island.
According to MINA Tasi Watch lead ranger Wayne Dawe, events like the Celebrity Bagging are extremely important because it has been an ongoing issue where in marine animals continue to die due to the consumption of plastic.
“I think it’s really important. It reduces plastic bags getting into the ocean because most of the marine life mistake it [plastic bags] for food and they end up eating it,” he said.
Daniel Kaipat, Tasi Watch second ranger, said that through the Celebrity Bagging event and the Taya Plastic Tuesdays, over 2,000 plastic bags are lefts un-used and do not enter the ocean.
“Its one of the goals of Taya Plastic Tuesdays and why we like to offer reusable bags,” he said.
The amount of bags distributed and the amount raised for MINA has yet to be announced by Bridge Capital.