Keeping the beaches of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica clean

Playa Carmen, Santa Teresa Beach, Costa Rica

Hotel Tropico Latino hopes to inspire Santa Teresa businesses to join them in regular monthly cleanups to keep Santa Teresa beaches trash free.

Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Hotel Tropico Latino wants to preserve the beauty of Santa Teresa beaches.

Hotel Tropico Latino wants to ignite a movement to keep the beaches of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica clean.

They propose that all Santa Teresa businesses unite together to donate an hour of their time each month to go with their employees to pick up trash and debris from Santa Teresa’s beaches.

“Together we can do a big cleanup to leave the beach completely clean, and create community awareness while conserving our natural resources. We hope that everyone will unite with us to keep Santa Teresa clean,” states a hotel video message.

The beaches of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica – Playa Carmen, Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa – consistently win Costa Rica’s ecological Blue Flag award. And tourism runs the economy, with tourists from all over the world coming to enjoy the breathtaking pristine beaches, beautiful jungle and sunny tropical climate.

However, like all tourists everywhere, they generate trash from consuming items like food, drinks, sunscreen, insect repellent, etc. Add to that the normal waste from the community and businesses, and it multiplies radically. Then there are the random flotsam and jetsam that simply come ashore from ocean currents.

Santa Teresa has a monthly recycling program. And some of that plastic ocean trash washing up on Santa Teresa’s beaches is being converted to high-fashion clothing by designer/retailer H&M using Bionic Yarn – polyester made of recycled plastic waste. Bionic Yarn is made from plastic that washes up on beaches and waterway shorelines that is of too poor quality for traditional recycling, and usually ends up in landfills.

Santa Teresa beach Costa Rica
Beach garbage and recycling bins at Playa Carmen in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

On World Oceans Day 2017 earlier this month, the Costa Rican government pledged to fight marine pollution in the form of single-use plastic and also created a new marine protected area near Santa Teresa.

Costa Rica added an 800-square-kilometer marine conservation area at Cabo Blanco at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, an important area for dolphins, whales, sea turtles, sea birds and other marine life. The country now protects slightly more than 15 percent of its territorial waters under conservation, joining The United Nations Environment Program in its goal to preserve one-tenth of all oceans by 2020.

Playa Carmen, Santa Teresa Beach, Costa Rica
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica is a tropical paradise, and Hotel Tropico Latino wants to ensure it stays clean.

“As a nation between two shores, the Caribbean and the Pacific, Costa Rica is conscious of the immeasurable benefits that these waters bring to life on Earth. With this in mind, we are striving to become a plastic-free zone and to expand marine protected areas, along with models of local governance to manage fisheries and tourism in a sustainable manner,” said the President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís.

After joining the global UN Clean Seas campaign earlier this year, Costa Rica promised to replace single-use plastic – which can take hundreds of years to degrade – with renewable and compostable materials in at least 80 percent of the country’s public agencies, municipalities and businesses by 2021.

Article by Shannon Farley

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