In Galapagos 102,520 straws were recovered, which were delivered voluntarily by the owners of commercial premises. The Santa Rosa and Bellavista parishes in Santa Cruz were declared as places where this non-reusable waste does not circulate.
Since May of this year an ordinance prohibits its use. In Guayaquil and Quito there are also initiatives to replace it with paper ones. Plaza Lagos promotes the #SinSorbetePorFavor campaign.
A sea turtle bleeds through one of its nostrils when, after several painful attempts, it extracts an embedded plastic straws. The removal of the item caused the animal suffering. The video that circulates on YouTube went viral and was recorded in 2015.
The excessive use of plastic is a threat to marine and terrestrial species, since they confuse it with food. Since May of this year in Galapagos the income and use of sorbets is prohibited. This is established by an ordinance approved by the Governing Council. The regulation was accepted in 2015, but it was in 2018 that it was launched.
Lorena Tapia, president of the Governing Council of the Special Regime of Galapagos, assured that upon her arrival her application was reactivated with a progressive calendar of restriction of plastics. The issue of straws was the first challenge. To date they received 102,520 straws delivered voluntarily by owners of commercial premises in the islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Isabela and Floreana. “The response has been very positive. They are committed to the environment. ” It also highlights the declaration as free of these articles to areas such as: Mann beach, the municipal market in San Cristóbal and the rural parishes of Santa Cruz such as Bellavista, Progreso and Santa Rosa.
“Floreana Island with a population of 250 people is declared free of straws “
These days it is expected to certify restaurants and shops for their contribution. “We hope in the next three months to declare Galapagos free of this waste.” For the professor of the biology career at the Polytechnic School of the Litoral (Espol), Gustavo Domínguez, the achievement will allow the Archipelago to be seen as an example for the other provinces of the country.
Explains the complexity for recycling, because there must be the right technology to process them. They are too light to pass through classifiers of recyclable waste, so they end up in garbage dumps and in navigable waterways and, finally, in the oceans.
“In Ecuador you do not have the technology to do it and the ideal would be not to use them because the impact is serious in marine animals.” The professor emphasizes that the ingestion of this plastic can occur in penguins, seals, sea lions, frigates, albatrosses or pelicans that have more interaction.
In turtles – he adds – that by confusing the plastic bags with jellyfish the sorbets may be wrapped and consumed by accident. “There are reports since the 70s about perforations in your intestines and stomachs due to plastic intake.” Dogs and cats are also exposed.
Loja fights against plastic
An ordinance that came into effect in 2017 regulates the use of plastic, especially the bags in Loja. Luis Bravo, environmental specialist technician of the Municipality of that city, says that the regulations emerged after detecting that 200 tons of plastic bags entered the landfills in 2016.
“We knew that at the time of disposal, the capacity of the filling will be reduced and we look for viable alternatives to solve it.” Thus was born the ordinance that allows three alternatives: the use of biodegradable bags and jute or fabric reusable bags. “The goal is to minimize the use of this article. What we want is that within a year and a half Loja be declared free of plastic.”
He also announced that he expects a reform of the regulation that establishes the restriction of foamflex containers. Local efforts Restaurant chains take action to stop using straws, among them the American Starbucks, which announced the elimination of plastic sorbets in all its stores by 2020. The example is followed in Ecuador. Two of these businesses are: El Café de la Vaca, which has a presence in Pichincha and MasaMadre, in Guayaquil.
In the first one, two and a half years ago, the campaign “Better without straw” was promoted. Juan Fernando Hidalgo, operational manager of the restaurant, recalled that before every month 4,000 cigarettes were used in drinks. “We trained the staff, but we made the change from one day to the next. Children are the ones who have responded the best because they are happy to know that they will not pollute the environment.” While the second venue started at the end of 2017, they switched to paper straws.
Daniela Ginatta, co-founder of the Guayaquil business, says that the goal is to stop the use of plastic in the store. To do this, eight phases were imposed as a challenge. The first one was change the straws, the second replace the plastic biscuit boxes with cardboard ones. In addition, they now use paper sleeves, cardboard coffee removers and work in the exclusive use of glass. “Customers have adapted without problems and congratulate us.”
American Airlines will eliminate the plastic sorbets from its VIP lounges and instead will serve the biodegradable and ecological sorbets drinks and wooden mixing sticks, made of bamboo, ecological and biodegradable.
It will also initiate the transition to ecological plates and cutlery in VIP rooms. With these changes American will eliminate more than 71,000 pounds of plastic per year. Also, by the end of 2018, Tetra Pak® will present a paper sorbet suitable for individual carton packs.
Environment Minister Tarsicio Granizo invited to gradually eliminate the use of plastic bags and not to drink drinks with sorbets “. While the Green Latin and Sambito awards drive the campaign: #SinSorbetePorFavor that will start on Sunday at Plaza Lagos Town Center.
They emphasize that a drink is taken in 15 minutes, while the straw used takes time to decompose up to 1,000 years. The problem is that the polypropylene that makes up the article pollutes the oceans.
The agronomist Bianca Dáger, who chairs Sambito, explained that currently the National Assembly is analyzing the creation of a law to regulate the use of plastics and single use foam. She explained that “we must move from a linear consumer economy to a circular one. Similar to what happens in nature, where nothing is discarded, everything is used “.
She stressed that the straws, beyond not being recyclable, because its process is not profitable, is unnecessary. “We do not need to use a straw for our drinks.”
Seattle initiatives without straws
One of the most commercial cities in the United States, Seattle, since July -july- prohibited the use of plastic straws, knives, forks and spoons. The fine for the premises goes from $ 250, although the first year will be of adaptation.
In Argentina is pinamar
The coastal city banned in December 2017 the use of straws and plastic cups. There are three exceptions: nightclubs, dispensing machines and beverages that come from the factory.
Magdalena del Mar
The Peruvian district ordered last June the prohibition of the use of straws. Businesses have a month to adapt.
The plastic island in the Pacific
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), located halfway between Hawaii and California, is the largest area of accumulation of oceanic plastics on Earth. It exceeds the size of France.
California banned covers
The first US state in prohibiting the use of covers was California. The objective is to avoid pollution of the seas.
In San Pedro La Laguna, Sololán since September 2016, a municipal agreement governs the use of plastic bags and straws and expanded polystyrene containers (duroport).
Chile will not use bags
The Government decreed the prohibition of plastic bags. The measure will be adopted in six months and seeks to protect the oceans. (I)