Osa Free of single-use plastic
Studies estimate that if the use of plastic is not immediately and drastically reduced, pollution in the oceans will soon be of catastrophic consequences for human and marine species.
On November 9th, the Minister of Environment (MINAE), Dr. Edgar Gutiérrez and CATUOSA (Osa Tourism Chamber) president Mr. Luis Centeno signed the agreement “Osa Free of single-use Plastic.”
Perry Gladstone, president of CACOBA (Chamber of Tourism and Commerce of Costa Ballena), pronounced that Costa Ballena is a strong supporter of the “Osa Libre de Plastico” movement. “We are proud of our friends and partners at CATUOSA, and “Bahía Ballena Libre de Plástico” who led the charge locally. Then, he added, “This is a perfect example of how grass root initiatives can create positive momentum and affect powerful change.”
Geoporter, currently chaired by Tania Calderón of the Bahía Azul Hotel, began to develop this initiative in the town of Bahia. The project was accompanied by other organizations such as the Association of Guides of the Marine Ballena National Park and representatives of SINAC (National System of Areas of Conservation.)
The idea was to reduce the use of bottled water by encouraging visitors to fill their bottles with water from the local aqueduct that is potable. They are also urged to avoid the use of plastic straws, stereophonic dishes and the like.
For the celebration of the 2017 Whales and Dolphins Festival, the organization had the brilliant idea of creating a gigantic whale with recycled plastic bottles. This initiative has been celebrated and awarded, and the plastic whale has become an icon of Osa´s purpose to eliminate single-use plastic.
Restaurants, bars and other businesses in the South Pacific of Costa Rica, adopted the commitment to eliminate single-use plastic within their operations as a way to reduce the impact of this material on rivers and oceans. The BM Supermarket group is donating 5,000 reusable bags.
This way the initiative gained momentum becoming the object of the praiseworthy "Osa Libre de Plástico" agreement promoted by the Osa Chamber of Tourism (CATUOSA). In the words of its president, it aims to raise awareness among members and the Osa community about the ecological threat posed by single-use plastic.
To enhance the signature of the agreement, the plastic whale was moved to Playa Ballena, where at Villas Leonor the celebration of the event was held. Participating companies exhibited their biodegradable products, such as straws, cups, bags and spoons, all produced with bamboo, starch, plants and roots to the visitors.
In his speech the MINAE Minister, Dr. Gutiérrez commented: "The community of Osa is an example that changes are feasible. It is up to us to alter the course of the destruction of our planet, preserving and leaving a positive footprint on the environment…"