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Plastic reduction policy at Miguel’s Diving Gorontalo revolves around the four R’s: Refuse, Reuse, Recycle and Reclaim.
Plastics Policy & Pro-active Waste Reduction
Some may be surprised that a local dive center like Miguel’s has a plastic reduction policy. Actually, we have had one in place for many years. Guests will notice right away our efforts and we encourage participation.
The first action of our plastic reduction policy is to refuse. Our staff bring green bags to stores and local markets. This way we do not need plastic bags. We also refuse to buy individually wrapped snacks and those with plastic trays. Instead, we provide wafers, which can easily be shared among guests. Traders at Gorontalo’s Central Market know that we are looking for the day’s sweetest pineapple when a staff appears with our big plastic box complete with lid. But that brings us to the second R.
Using containers for daily fruits is one way we refuse single-use plastic bags. We reuse sturdy plastic boxes for the fresh, local fruits that we provide guests after a dive. These are also easy to clean, helping maintain necessary sanitary conditions.
Miguel’s Diving does provide the standard plastic water bottles containing drinking water. We purchase these from a Gorontalo water company that employs local people. Rather than letting those bottles become single-use plastic, we provide a pen with permanent ink. Miguel’s Diving also encourages our guests to write their names on their bottle. After a dive, a quick glance determines which bottle belongs to which guest. Some guests bring their own re-useable drinking containers, which is even better. We provide a large five-liter refill station of local, purified water. Our daily briefing includes explanations about water refill as part of our plastic reduction policy.
For lunches, we have long used re-useable lunch boxes with lids. Even the plastic spoons are rewashed and eventually end up in the coffee station. Rather than single use plastic or Styrofoam meal containers, ours are literally used hundreds of times.
We have no trouble giving those plastic water bottles away at the end of a dive day. Neighbors of the dive center, who have limited income, drop by to collect them. Gorontalo has a plastic bottle recycling center, which pays for plastic bottles.
Miguel’s Diving staff take part in annual local beach cleanups. The local government is the sponsor. Local officials use these events to educate coastal residents on cleanliness and hygiene. For a number of years now, Gorontalo City government offers free garbage pickup. Residents are encouraged to leave garbage in a container or small pile in front of their houses for daily pick up. This has greatly reduced the amount of plastic thrown in the rivers flowing through Gorontalo City.
The biggest impact Miguel’s Diving makes on reclaiming discarded plastic and other human-generated rubbish is our daily reef sweeps. During each dive, Miguel’s Diving staff check the reef for plastic or anything else that does not belong. Our staff estimate that 90% of rubbish on the reef is single-use. We thank guests who help us keep the reef clean. Moreover, the captain will steer the boat toward any floating rice sacks and pick these up. They cause the most immediate damage to the reef. A rice sack easily tangles onto hard corals, blocking necessary sunlight and killing the coral within a few days. Travelers to Gorontalo remark how clean and neat Gorontalo City is. Divers notice how relatively clean Gorontalo’s marine areas are.
For your chance to support a local dive center with a clear plastic reduction policy, please book your dive trip with us.