Costa Rica joins global fight to eliminate disposable plastic

Disposable plastic

Join the global movement to eliminate disposable plastic along with Costa Rica and Costa Rican tourism businesses like Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge.

Article by Shannon Farley

Disposable plastic
Be a solution to the planet’s plastic problem. Say no to using disposable plastic.

Costa Rican businesses and the Costa Rican government have pledged this year to eliminate disposable plastic use in the country.

Known as the natural and adventure gem of Central America, Costa Rica’s economy relies heavily on ecotourism and preserving its environment and natural resources is a top priority.

Earlier this year, Costa Rica’s government declared it would get rid of single-use disposable plastic to fight plastic marine debris. The goal is that, by 2021, at least 80 percent of the country’s public agencies, municipalities and businesses must replace their disposable plastic packaging with materials that have a lower environmental impact.

In November, tourism businesses with the Chamber of Tourism of Osa (CATUOSA) also pledged to stop using single-use plastic containers, bags and other disposable plastic items in the Osa Peninsula region in southern Costa Rica. Businesses plan to substitute single-use plastics and Styrofoam, like utensils, cups, plates, straws and bags, for biodegradable items made from bamboo, cloth, starches, cereals, hemp, and other eco-friendly materials.

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is a leader in sustainable tourism in Costa Rica.

Award-winning ecolodge Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in southern Costa Rica has been eliminating the use of disposable plastic in their operations, with their guests and service providers for years.

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is a nature lover’s sanctuary set on a 165-acre private reserve in the lush rainforest next to the Piedras Blancas National Park and fronting the pristine coastline of the Pacific gulf of Golfo Dulce. When you come to Nicuesa Lodge, you find a place in balance with nature. That’s why sustainable tourism is more than a trendy buzzword here.

See how Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge eliminates disposable plastic; and when you visit, take their daily sustainability tour to learn more about their sustainable tourism practices.

Nicuesa Lodge
You won’t find disposable plastic bags at Nicuesa Lodge. They use reusable boxes like this one when they shop for the hotel.


When they purchase supplies for the lodge, they ask suppliers not to use plastic bags. They bring their own reusable plastic boxes and fabric bags or backpacks. Or, if necessary, they use cardboard boxes, which are biodegradable. Nicuesa Lodge encourages guests and employees not to accept plastic bags and instead to use backpacks or reusable fabric bags for personal purchases.


In all of the different areas of the hotel, they have reusable containers to store items rather than plastic bags.

Garbage and recycling are disposed of in specifically marked containers that can be found in each guest room, in the main lodge area, by the beach deck and yoga platform, and in their garbage collection area.

bamboo straws
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge uses biodegradable bamboo straws instead of plastic ones.


“Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States alone. In only the past 20 years, people have come to expect plastic straws in every drink, in an example of extreme waste being generated for minimal convenience,” states the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge purchases biodegradable bamboo straws for guests who may want a straw in their drink or smoothie. They encourage their guests and employees to say no to plastic straws at restaurants and bars, and to join the global movement to eliminate plastic drinking straws from the planet’s landfills, streams, oceans, and beaches.


For guests’ laundry to be done, Nicuesa Lodge keeps fabric laundry bags in each guest room. After washing, clothes are dried in the lodge’s solar drying room.


Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge encourages guests to bring their own personal reusable water bottle when they visit. Water at the lodge is sourced from a natural spring and is drinkable. They sell stainless steel water bottles in their gift shop if guests do not have one of their own.

Guests will find Costa Rican, natural, organic Raw Botanicals bath products in large reusable containers in their guest room bathrooms, rather than the little plastic bottles for bath amenities you get in most hotels.

Nicuesa Lodge also uses reusable and refillable receptacles for their environmentally-friendly biodegradable laundry detergent, an arrangement they made with their product vendor in order to limit plastic waste.

playa nicuesa rainforest lodge

Reusable containers in guest bathrooms hold natural, organic, Costa Rican Raw Botanicals bath amenities.


Millions of tons of plastic are discarded around the world every year, and only a very small percentage actually gets recycled. Since plastic is a durable material made to last, it doesn’t biodegrade; it only breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.

“Currently about 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year to make bags, bottles, packages, and other commodities for people all over the world. Unfortunately, only about 10 percent of this plastic is properly recycled and reused. The rest ends up as waste in landfills or as litter in our natural environment, where it leaches dangerous chemicals into the nearby soil and water, endangering humans and wildlife alike. The problem has now grown completely out of control and threatens to affect millions of people and animals” around the world, states the Earth Day Network.

Find out more about how you can stop using disposable plastic here.

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