Well its been three months of hopping between islands and trying frantically to find solutions to one of the world’s most wicked problems; Plastic. The biggest lesson I took away from my time in the Bay Islands is that there is no silver bullet to the plastic pollution crisis. Plastic is a victim of its own success. Its cost-effectiveness, versatility, and durability makes it the perfect product for a wide-variety of customer needs, but also the worst form of waste due to its persistence in the world after we throw it away. Keeping these issues in mind I pursued several angles of business-focused initiatives to try to find some practical solutions to the plastic pollution crisis.
July has been a month of travel and hectic scheduling. I’ve been to three islands working on three different programs, all with the goal of making disposable plastic waste a thing of the past in the Bay Islands of Honduras.
Plastic comes in all types of forms, some good and some bad, but more often than not plastic becomes something very ugly when we decide to throw it out. Plastic is meant to last forever, which is why it seems mind-boggling that disposable plastic has become such a commonplace aspect of our lives. My job in the Bay Islands this summer, along with Eliana and Saba, is to work with businesses, schools, nonprofits, and government agencies to tackle the wicked problem of disposable plastics.
It’s been two weeks since I landed in Roatán International Airport and that marked the beginning of a nonstop tour of the region. In the past two weeks I’ve been on 1 flight and 3 ferry trips (not the best experience if you get motion sickness…). The fun started with a trip the day after my arrival to one of Central America’s largest recycling facilities (Invema) in San Pedro Sula followed by a series of other meetings and a road trip to La Ceiba. The week after the San Pedro Sula trip I visited the island of Utila and the whole Think Beyond Plastic Fellows team reunited on the islands for the first time. We are still wrapping our heads around the prevalence of single-use plastic on the islands but we’ve met a lot of extremely dedicated and passionate individuals who we will work with this summer to try to make a change.