Bozcaada: Now plastic-bag free. Photo: Jennifer Hattam.
With its secluded beaches, laidback wineries, winding country roads, and the cobbled backstreets of its quaint harbor village, the Turkish Aegean island of Bozcaada doesn't need much in the way of improvement. But as of today, this peaceful getaway will be just that much more beautiful, thanks to a new law ridding the island of something that has spoiled many an attractive outdoor locale in Turkey: plastic bag trash.The Bozcaada municipality board agreed in April to prohibit the use of plastic bags as of June 5, World Environment Day, the Doğan News Agency reported last month. Though, happily, not much trash was in evidence on a recent visit to the island, discarded plastic bags are an all-too-common sight in and around Turkey's meadows, parks, and rivers.
2,000 Fabric Bags At The Ready
While Bozcaada is not the first municipality in Turkey to ban plastic bags, island officials sound prepared to avoid the problems faced by Istanbul's pioneering Kadıköy district, which apparently banned plastic bags without first making sure enough alternatives were available.
"We will sell cotton bags and sacks, available in different shapes, which we bought from the Nature Protection Association, at very low prices to the [island's] retailers," Bozcaada Mayor Mustafa Mutay told the Doğan News Agency. Some 2,000 fabric bags have already been readied to get the project off to a good start.
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