United Nations
Aruba Plastic Bag Ban
by Private Initiative (Other relevant actor)
Conservatively, Aruba consumes an estimated 30 million single-use plastic bags yearly or just over 575,000 per week and 114 per minute. On June 28, 2016 the law proposal to ban single-use plastic bags was unanimously passed in Parliament of Aruba. The initiative law was led by Parliament Member Donald Rasmijn together with team members Omar Harms, Policy Advisor for Prime Minister Eman, and Juliet Carvalhal (initiator of Aruba's Plastic Bag Ban), Special Coordinator Green Agenda for Government of Aruba. The law came into effect on January 1, 2017 and adoption rate is currently estimated at approximately 80%.

The usual approach might have been, especially for an island, to ban the bag at the point of import. Instead, with a dedicated focus to behavioral design towards responsibility, it was chosen to ban the bag at the point of sale, where both retailer and consumer have a unique moment of contact and an opportunity to shift toward a solution together.

Also, another usual approach to awareness campaigns might be to search for donations and have organizing party manage approach, campaign activities and dissemination. In this case, the stakeholders were engaged from the beginning. Moreover, in order to not only build capacity but also engage ownership, a call-to-action logo was created for desired behavior "My Bag is Reusable" and most campaign activities were outsourced to said partners and stakeholders. The only ask from initiators was that the logo be used in all campaign activities and that these be launched in a coordinated timeline. This created a spiderweb effect of sharing of messaging - from multiple channels, the community was given the call-to-action and responsible consumerism messaging from multiple stakeholders while stakeholders were able to maintain their own branding within a corporate social responsibility perspective while re-branding their image in their participation and leadership.

Lastly, it was promoted throughout the process to take advantage of the law, to be innovative and to think out of the box. In essence, the market was being re-set. Herewith, new opportunities would arise and we saw results as well (new sustainable product lines for F&B and hotel sector). Moreover, we also expected use of foam box to decrease seeing as design and use of foam box would not be as effective without a plastic bag - this was an additional benefit to the plastic bag ban.

Progress reports
To have Aruba be 100% free of single-use plastic bags.
To share Aruba's approach to plastic bag ban.
Other, please specify
Most resources were budgeted according to budget allocated internally by each partner and according to what fit their needs for their campaign activities.
Basic information
Time-frame: December 2013 - December 2017
Parliament of Aruba, Government of Aruba, Aruba Tourism and Hotel Industry Association, Aruba Tourism and Hotel Industry Association Environmental Committee, Aruba Tourism Authority, Aruba Airport Authority, Aruba Trade and Industry Association, Aruba Chamber of Commerce, Police Force Aruba (KPA), Turtugaruba Foundation, Aruba Birdlife Conservation, Private Sector
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Juliet D. Carvalhal, Ms., juliet.carvalhal@gmail.com, +2977404850
Oranjestad, Aruba
Other SDGs
United Nations