Environmental Protection

Tourism Group: No More Styrofoam

The Belize Tourism Industry Association is challenging its employees and members to eliminate the use of polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) in Belize.

Employees have agreed to make simple changes. For example, it is customary in many offices to order lunch, which most often comes in a Styrofoam box or foil-covered plate. Now the food vendor arrives in the morning to take the lunch order and collects all the reusable covered containers, each marked with the owner's name. The order then arrives at the usual lunch hour, but instead of a stack of Styrofoam boxes, lunch is delivered in each person's reusable container.

Styrofoam is not biodegradable and is one of the highest contributing factors to the garbage pollution problem in Belize. Its combustion releases some 50-plus chemical byproducts, significantly contributing to air pollution.

Other simple measures that contribute to being environmentally responsible include the use of regular cutlery, coffee mugs and glasses, instead of disposable ones; e-mail correspondence and digital filing where possible, instead of paper prints; enforcing "lights out" after working hours; and reducing energy usage by turning off air conditioners on cool days, and office equipment when not in use.

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