Guaranda adds to the Galápagos proposal of “no” to this material. In Ikiam, the preparation of biodegradable dishes with banana leaves and bijao plants is contemplated.
Non-alcoholic beverage companies will reuse the containers. In Ecuador, as well as in the world, the consumption of plastics or Plexiglas increases dramatically. In the face of this, green initiatives are emerging to replace the disposable containers used by fast food chains. This is how the project “Bijaoplatos 100% reciclables” was born, driven by the teacher Mireya Sislema, biotechnologist at the Ikiam Amazon Regional University.
The initiative proposes the elaboration of disposable dishes based on leaves of bijao and plantain plants, which can be used to sell food and be eco-friendly with the environment. “The idea of using organic plant material to produce disposable dishes arises from similar projects in countries such as Nepal and Thailand, where containers made from different leaves of plants are used,” says the biotechnologist, whose project participates in the Bank of Ideas of the Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (Senescyt).
The first test of this initiative was a prototype that was used in baking and was exhibited at the science fair “Vox Populi” organized by Ikiam. But also on a personal level there are several proposals to contribute to a better environment, such as reducing the number of plastic bags to move supermarket purchases to homes.
According to the survey “Environmental information in homes 2016”, developed by the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), 19.05% of the population uses cloth bags or reusable material and 1.78% use a basket or carts.
However, 79.16% of families in the country still prefer plastic bags to carry purchases. The environmental consultant Silvia Sánchez believes that the personal contribution can be replicated and achieve an awareness of the impact generated by our activities. “The small ideas can replicate and infect the rest because we remember that the Earth is our only home and if we continue with destructive actions we will not have anywhere to live”.
In Ecuador, according to the Ministry of the Environment, each person uses around 130 t-shirt sleeves annually, that is, more than 1,500 million to store purchases. Another proposal that has received is the elimination of plastic straws in beverages sold in restaurants. “We want more and more citizens to be committed to the planet, to rule out the use of sorbets and plastic lids in their drinks,” Minister Tarsicio Granizo said.
Plastic straws are the fourth most common waste found in the total waste of the oceans in the world. Therefore, the Secretary of State said that the Ministry of Education will include -in the curricular mesh- environmental education to raise awareness among children about the importance of preserving nature.
The environmental manager, Renato Salguero, believes that restaurants should join this initiative and demand from their supplier’s biodegradable packaging to deliver them in turn to customers. “An extended and shared responsibility is needed by all of us who form this planet.”
It considers important a permanent training to carry out a correct recycling. “Ecuador must become a benchmark for the region and for that public policies are needed that encourage the use of cloth bags instead of plastic bags”. It specifies that one should also think about health.
“There are studies that show that several types of cancer are associated with plastic.” Guaranda (Bolívar) -from the 18th of this month- will join the current initiative in Galapagos, where the use of plastic implements was progressively restricted. In the city there was already a socialization between minority and informal merchants, which are the ones that sell the largest number of plastic bags.
In addition Minister Hailizo said that there were talks with representatives of the non-alcoholic beverage industry so that their containers are reusable and distributed throughout the country. (I)