Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2020. 2:19 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Today, Galen University in Belize hosted a meaningful discussion with students, faculty and other stakeholders about the contribution that University students can make toward the ban of single-use plastic in Belize.
The session was hosted at their Central Farm Campus in Cayo.
Present at the discussion were Oceana’s Communications Director, Alyssa Noble Carnegie, and Oceana’s Outreach and Project Director, Jacinta Gomez.
The presentations began with Oceana representatives showing a short video clip of why it is important to ban single-use plastics in Belize and how plastics affect oceans, rivers and sea wildlife.
Oceana representatives explained that it is important for everyone to reduce their usage of plastics to protect our oceans and wildlife.
Gomez shared that every minute that passes, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastics is dumped into the sea. This affects species in the sea.
The representatives also shared some ways that people can contribute to saving the planet by making more plastic-free choices.
Carnegie shared that more flights, hotels, and restaurants are moving toward sustainable practices and alternatives to plastics.
With relation to the legislation that Belize passed, they explained that the ban is more for food sector plastics including plastic forks, spoons, straws, plastic bags and Styrofoam.
“It is a great step in the right direction,” the representatives from Oceana noted.
They also applauded the students at Galen University and the University for introducing and using sustainable practices and for raising awareness on this very important issue.
The students were applauded for having their reusable water bottles and avoiding the use of plastic bottles.
They were also encouraged to take their containers when purchasing food, coconut water etc.
The Oceana representatives said that this is a good opportunity to enhance the policy and to advocate for increased coverage so that it can, later on, include a ban on plastic water bottles.
Students can also join Oceana’s awareness events and contribute by attending their beach and river clean-ups, by promoting green entrepreneurship and by thinking of and executing more innovative alternatives to plastic.
Some examples of innovative solutions include bamboo straws available in Belize at Eco-Friendly Solution Products and Twig and Pearl.
Since Belize is phasing out the use of single-use plastics, by the end of 2020, the food sector plastics will be illegal to use.
The students were encouraged to spread awareness among other friends and colleagues and explain why it is important to reduce the usage of single-use plastics and how it can affect everyone.
They were also encouraged to support vendors that practice sustainable practices.
On January 14, 2020, the Government of Belize signed into law the Environmental Protection (Pollution from Plastics) Regulations, 2020.
The Government of Belize said that the purpose of these regulations is to carry out Cabinet’s decision to reduce plastic and styrofoam pollution through the phasing out of single-use plastics, including shopping bags and styrofoam and plastic food utensils.
Galen University engages students in their own Environmental Club, where students who are committed to protecting the environment share their experiences and join forces to educate and advocate for more environmental protection around campus and in their communities.
Galen University prides itself for placing in greatest importance, the well-being of their students, academically, ethically and personally, providing them with an innovative learning experience through professional delivery of quality education.
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