‘Doppers’ introduced in Saba to cut number of single-use plastic bottles | THE DAILY HERALD

WWF-NL representative Arjan de Groene (right) handing over the first Dopper bottles to Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops (centre) and Saba Commissioner Bruce Zagers (left) at the site of the new water-bottling plant on Monday.

SABA–The public entity Saba intends to drastically reduce single-use plastics through several actions. The new water bottling plant, the reusable large water containers with dispensers and the small reusable Dopper bottle play a significant role in this exercise which fits in Saba’s continued work as a green, sustainable destination.

The new water bottling plant at St. Johns, when operational in a few months, will be filling large reusable water containers of three and five gallons (12 and 20 litres). Through a dispenser, people can obtain clean drinking water. This means that people no longer have to buy single-use plastic bottles.

The benefits of using large, reusable containers are multiple: having to bring in fewer plastic single-use bottles means less plastics are coming to Saba and less plastic has to be recycled. Reusable bottles are better for the environment and the planet. The system also saves money, because the large reusable containers are cheaper than buying boxes of single-use plastic bottles.

Saba will set a good example by placing water dispensers in government buildings and offices. The close to 200 civil servants will each receive a Dopper bottle. The Dopper bottle, a Dutch invention, is made of hard plastic, is reusable, sturdy, easy to use and to clean. By using a Dopper bottle and filling it at the water dispenser, government employees will test the system while at the same time setting a good example.

Due to the limited water distribution system, Saba depends on bottled water. However, when the bottling plant becomes operational, residents and visitors can switch to reusable bottles and dispensers. This will reduce the number of single-use bottles considerably, by an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 bottles per year for the government alone.

Another important fact, aside from the environment, is the fact that water from the large reusable/refillable bottles is cheaper than buying boxes of water which will help to bring the cost of living down.

Since the installation of the two filling stations in The Bottom and Windwardside and the laying of water pipe on a large part of the island, the price of water already has gone down on average by 50 per cent.

A third important advantage is the quality of this new drinking water. The water produced in the bottling plant complies with the quality standards of the Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES) Drinking Water Act, which includes the essential minerals required for healthy drinking water.

The Dopper bottles the government employees will receive is a joint initiative of Saba, World Wildlife Fund Nederland WWF-NL and Dopper.

Ocean expert and project leader Caribbean Netherlands at WWF-NL Arjan de Groene handed over the first Doppers to Commissioner Bruce Zagers and State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops at the site of the new bottling plant on Monday.

De Groene said about the initiative: “In my work, I have regular contact with the nature organisations and the government in Saba. WWF-NL also has contact with Dopper as one of the organisations that fights plastic pollution. When I heard of the beautiful initiative in Saba, I contacted Dopper. Their mission is: ‘clean drinking water from every faucet, clean water in every ocean.’

“They were immediately enthusiastic to provide government employees with a Dopper with WWF’s panda logo. A nice win-win-win situation, because the government employees are happy with their Doppers, Dopper is happy with the attention for their sustainable product and the reduction in plastic use, and WWF-NL is enthusiastic about the initiative of the public entity Saba to drastically reduce the use of disposable plastics.”

Just like other places in the world, the plastic soup issue in the BES islands poses a severe threat to nature. Saba wants to be a green, sustainable island, promoting ecotourism and operating in a self-sustainable manner as much as possible. Saba’s small size presents challenges, water is scarce and space is very limited, which makes waste management complicated. Decreasing the amount of waste by reducing the import and use of single-use water bottles is considered good for the island and for nature.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/84304-doppers-introduced-in-saba-to-cut-number-of-single-use-plastic-bottles