With the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Central Pacific county of Garabito is the first in Costa Rica to implement a public policy on controlling and monitoring plastics on its beaches, said the international agency yesterday. The beaches of Jacó, Hermosa, Herradura, Tárcoles and Guacalillo will be jointly monitored by surfers and the municipal government to fight against plastic pollution.
Plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, and plastic containers are a few examples of the endless waste stream clogging the earth’s waterways and endangering marine life. The Central Pacific coast’s community strategy promotes the substitution of these plastics with renewable materials and marine composites that biodegrade within six months even in the marine environment.
The Coastal Surfing Association (ACOS, its initials in Spanish), a non-profit community group located next to the Municipality of Garabito, will lead the effort which launched last Saturday, June 24 at Playa Jacó. The initiative is part of the newly inaugurated national strategy to replace single-use or disposable plastics with renewable and compostable alternatives. Alice Shackelford, UNDP representative in Costa Rica, said Garabito provides an example of civil society and local authorities joining together for environmental protection. “We need more social, economic and government actors to make alliances and take action to replace single use plastic. This monitoring work is essential to make the beach pollution situation visible and to measure the impacts of the strategy we are promoting. This is a clear example of how all people and institutions can work together to turn Costa Rica into a plastic free zone. ”
Fernando Mora, Deputy Minister of Water and Seas at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, stated that “Solid waste is a threat to the development of societies, the lack of adequate disposal of these and their integral management have endangered our aquatic resources. The national strategy aims to motivate consumers … we dream of products that are more sustainable and friendly with the environment.” Víctor Arce, President of the Coastal Surfing Association (ACOS) stressed that the association has a strong commitment to protecting the environment, so that together with the municipality they will carry out monthly monitoring on beaches as part of a pilot program to measure the impact of reducing plastics.
Originally posted here