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Belize schools grapple with plastic waste crisis, new study warns

Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2024. 6:03 am CST.

By Horace Palacio: A new report released by the environmental non-profit organization Sea of Life reveals a shocking level of single-use plastic waste plaguing Belizean schools. The report highlights the urgent need for solutions to protect both the environment and community health.

The study, which tracked waste patterns at several schools across Belize, found that over 75% of trash on school grounds consisted of plastic and plastic-hybrid materials. Disturbingly, food wrappers, drink pouches, and bottles represented nearly half of the total waste recorded. Popular brands like Crystal Drinking Water and Coca-Cola were frequently identified by researchers.

“This report throws the scale of Belize’s single-use plastic problem into stark relief,” stated Paulita Bennett-Martin, Sea of Life Co-Founder and Director of Programs. “Urgent action is needed to find alternatives and empower communities to protect our beautiful country.”

Key Findings of the Report

  • Schools are major generators of single-use plastic waste.
  • Food and beverage packaging are the most common sources of plastic trash.
  • The study involved collaborations with several schools and the 5 Gyres Institute.
  • Sea of Life used a customized TrashBlitz app to track waste patterns specifically in Belize.

Sea of Life aims to raise awareness of the crisis and inspire community-driven initiatives to reduce reliance on single-use plastics. The full report can be found on their website at SeaOfLife.org/PlasticSolutionsAcademy.

 

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