Our Stance On Single-Use Bottles
World Ocean Day: June 8
With today being World Ocean Day it felt like the right time to explain why Casa Xixim doesn’t provide (and discourages) single-use plastic water bottles. It goes without saying we are all aware of the enormous amount of plastic debris in our oceans now. It’s a sad state and we don’t have a solution to cleaning it up. It finds it’s way into our food chain, ends up killing sea life, and birds. And many people may not realize that recycling is not a silver bullet to solving plastic waste either. Much of our plastic used to get shipped to China to be recycled but even that isn’t happening anymore.
From Daily Kos:
For many environmentally conscious Americans, there’s a deep satisfaction to chucking anything and everything plasticky into the recycling bin—from shampoo bottles to butter tubs—the types of plastics in the plastic categories #3 through #7. Little do they know that, even if their local trash collector says it recycles that waste, they might as well be chucking those plastics in the trash bin.
“[Plastics] 3-7 are absolutely going to a landfill—[China’s] not taking that any more… because of Green Fence,” David Kaplan, CEO of Maine Plastics, a post-industrial recycler, tells Quartz. “This will continue until we can do it in the United States economically.”
So, we prefer the motto “Reduce, Reuse, and then Recycle as a last resort”. In our location of Tulum, recycling is not a reliable option and in fact our local landfill dump site is full. This is a local problem that the authorities have been trying to solve for a long time.
To do our part at Casa Xixim, we’ve implemented composting to reduce our waste and build soil. To reduce the strain on recycling we provide large jugs of drinking water and ask that our guests refill our tumblers or their own reusable water bottles throughout their stay. This small gesture adds up over time and we also hope it introduces a new habit to practice at home. It’s been proven than much bottled water is just tap water anyway. During my last visit, my sister and our 2 friends walked out to the Soliman Bay point and tide pools. We found pockets of hundreds of tiny baby hermit crabs, sea snails and barnacles. We also found a lot of plastic garbage. We packed out 4 bags of water bottles, shampoo bottles, various plastic bits, and a few lone flip flops. And there was still more. As we’ve said before, we are honored to be the current stewards of this special place. And we hope you join us in doing our collective best to be good earthlings.
Some articles that may be of interest:
Form about Tulum dump site: http://forums.locogringo.com/blog.aspx?m=848557
Problems with recycling: http://www.centerforsustainability.org/resources.php?category=40
Plastic and waste being shipped to China: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/09/chinas-crackdown-on-trash-could-make-it-harder-for-u-s-cities-to-recycle/
EPA on benefits of composting: http://www.epa.gov/composting/benefits.htm
Benefits of using reusable water bottles: https://www.banthebottle.net/articles/think-reusable-bottles-forget-plastic-bottled-water/
Effects of plastic on birds, film: Midway http://www.midwayfilm.com/