“Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take. How do we want the future living conditions for all living species to be like?” Greta Thunberg
In 2016, the world’s plastic production totaled around 335 million metric tons and roughly, half of annual plastic production is destined for a single-use product and often times that single-use plastic does not make it to a landfill or recycled. Even when it ends up in a landfill, they aren’t harmless – landfill liners can leak harmful pollutants into the watershed and plastics on the tops of landfills, which can be carried away by the wind into other areas.
According to The World Economic Forum, around 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually ends up in the ocean. This is enough waste to pour 1 garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute; that 1440 garbage trucks a day. If we do not make any changes now, this is expected to increase to “2 per minute by 2030 and 4 per minute by 2050. This would mean that by 2050 there would be more plastic than fishes in our oceans” (World Economic Forum). Now in 2020, all over the world countries and travelers are doing their part to help fight climate change, plastic pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Belize is finally doing its part to help the environment as the country prepares to phase out single-use plastic. Earlier this week the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development & Immigration signed into law the Environmental Protection (Pollution from Plastic) Regulation, which will help to phase out single-use plastic countrywide.
The Regulation came into force on January 15 2020 with the newly written legislation prohibiting the importation, manufacturing, sale and possession of restricted products, such as, styrofoam and plastic clamshells, plates, bowls, cups, lids, sporks, knives, spoons, sporks, cutlery, shopping bags and drinking straws.
For some years now, we at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel have become more earth-conscious and have introduced small, incremental steps to lessen our negative impact on the ecosystem. Take for example our use of our signature pasta straws and stirrers as a replacement for plastic straws and mixers at the Running W Restaurant. Small efforts do make big differences!
Remember, it all starts with making mindful decisions in your every day life and while travelling. Stay tuned on how our Resorts prepares for a greener Belize.