Topper’s staff with Nature Foundation Projects Officer Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern.
COLE BAY–Topper’s restaurant and bar recently switched to only reusable and biodegradable products instead of environmentally damaging single-use plastics, earning the praise of Nature Foundation. Dinghy Dock Bar, Buccaneers Beach Bar, Lagoonies and Coconut Reef Tours have also taken up the challenge to “go green.”
These responsible businesses will contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable St Maarten for future generations, said the foundation.
Topper’s was one of several to which foundation Project Officer Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern presented the Reduce and Reuse St. Maarten project. She explained the harmful effects of single-use plastics on the environment, humans and marine life. American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta are supporters of the Reduce and Reuse St. Maarten project.
Nature Foundation has requested several businesses to switch to reusable and biodegradable alternatives instead of using single-use plastics, but as yet has received no response. “However, we hope that the invited businesses are thinking about the opportunity and will switch eventually to a more environmentally friendly product,” said Meijer zu Schlochtern.
Nature Foundation will request more businesses, tour operators and organisations to go green in the coming months.
At least nine million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans each year and 96 per cent of all marine biodiversity is vulnerable to this plastic pollution. Half of all sea turtles mistake plastic for food and 90 per cent of all sea birds ingest plastic. If current trends continue, a lot of marine life will die and there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
Single use plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic cups, balloons, cutlery and Styrofoam food containers are some of the most environmentally damaging products on the island. These items do not biodegrade and stay in the ecosystem and oceans forever. They release a variety of chemicals during degradation that have a negative impact on organisms, humans and the ecosystems.
New research even shows that plastic breakdown accelerates greenhouse gas production in the environment.
Anyone interested in more information about the impact of single-use plastics and using reusable and biodegradable alternatives can contact Nature Foundation at tel. 544-4267 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .