Costa Rica is a small country with less than 5 million inhabitants, but its authorities have decided that they will become a true example in the world in the fight against pollution and the care of the environment. The latest initiative presented will be a turning point, as the country declares war on single use plastics and promises its total disappearance by 2021.
The over-production of plastics has become a very serious problem throughout the planet. Every time we buy any product we get a bag that we normally only use once, but it takes hundreds of years to decompose in nature, having a great impact on pollution.
In fact, scientists estimate that at the current rate of consumption, by the year 2050 there will be more plastics than fish at sea. Although in different places are looking for solutions to avoid the abuse of these materials as the charge for the use, the fact is that the measures are not ambitious enough,the reason why Costa Rica wants to go a step further.
Researchers in the country are trying to find a substitute that does not contaminate and is equally effective and for the moment their studies are on track. A group of students has found a material, obtained from bananas, that is five times more resistant than the current plastic bags and that disintegrates by itself in a term of 18 months, as it counts The Costa Rica News. Time and testing will determine if it is completely effective and can be a sustainable alternative.
This is not the first time that Costa Rica has shown its commitment to the environment. Already a decade ago the Government announced that by 2021 the country would be a carbon neutral territory and already more than a dozen companies are complying with this measure.
In addition, authorities have been able to reverse deforestation and shift their forest cover from 26% in 1984 to the current 52%. One can not forget that the Costa Rican country stands out for its wonderful landscapes and that a significant part of the income comes from tourism.
On the other hand the plastic of a single use is the one that is used for very little time, but it lasts hundreds of years in degrading; Are examples of these products, the bags they give in shops, plastic straws and coffee removers, containers and tableware.
Being a country free of single use plastics is the slogan and the goal. The road is not easy nor can we do it alone. To promote these changes requires that all social, economic and governmental actors commit themselves to guarantee actions to replace single use plastic by means of five strategic actions: municipal incentives, policies and institutional guidelines to suppliers; Replacement of single-use plastic products; Investigation and development; And investment in productive projects. We also require leadership and Inclusion of all: women, men, boys and girls.
The initiative led by the Government of Costa Rica, through the coordination of the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Ministry of Health, has had technical and financial support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and has received support Local governments, civil society and various private sector groups.
But beyond nominal support, we have promoted mechanisms for people, companies and institutions to join the strategy, by recording their commitments, voluntary actions and progress reports. The platform http://zonalibredeplastico.org concentrates these mechanisms.
Likewise, we must continue to move towards sustainable production and consumption systems, but that also generate development for communities and that do not cause water pollution, that care for the health of the people, that ensure fair wages, that do not discriminate between men and women And not to destroy forests or wetlands.
As stated in the Sustainable Development Objectives, it is the responsibility of all sectors and people to ensure a balance between social, economic and environmental, without leaving anyone behind. This is fundamental considering that women and girls are the first to suffer the effects of disasters and exclusion.
Now they are betting on being the first to eliminate plastics and it remains to be seen if their initiative serves as an example and causes other countries to bet decisively for a greener future in which the plastic gradually disappears. There is no doubt that the oceans will be grateful.