The Eindhoven-based, Searious Business, is trying to significantly reduce a large amount of plastic refuse on six tropical islands.
To achieve this, the company will work with an international nature conservation organisation called the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation has made €6 million available for the project. It concerns six islands in the Caribbean and Pacific, including Antigua, Fiji, and Samoa.
The project will take two years and varies per island. “Think of tourists who, during their stay on an island, who will be given only one plastic bottle they can refill. Or mini bottles of shampoo in hotels and spas being replaced by dispensers. In this way, we hope to reduce disposable plastic by 80%”, Willemijn Peeters, of Searious Business, says.
Working together with local companies
The parties work together with local fishermen, authorities, refuse processing companies, and the tourism sector. According to Peeters, these six small tropical islands were chosen because refuse processing is still in its infancy there. “There is often no refuse infrastructure or space there, so 90%of the rubbish is often disposed of in nature. We want to make sure the islands do not develop large landfills in the future”.
If the measures are successful, this refuse approach could also be rolled out to continental areas. “On the islands, we work on a small scale. You can, therefore, accurately assess the consequences of changes in the system. Large companies can test their green innovations here too”, Peeters concludes.
Editor: Melinda Walraven