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Oct 9, 2018

Plastic Free Summer Camp in the West

An exhibition showcasing the creative and plastic free work of Bullet Tree children is open at the House of Culture in San Ignacio. Over the summer, the children participated in the no plastic, no styrofoam kids summer camp.  In line with G.O.B.’s bold effort to phase out single-use plastic and styrofoam food containers, the camp aimed to raise awareness in children and their families on the negative health and environmental impacts of the materials. The children were taught creative art, painting, music, drama, photography, planting and a number of different activities. Their work is on display at the House of Culture until October eighteenth. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Back in July, ‘No-Plastic No-Styrofoam Kids Summer Camp’ was held in Bullet Tree Village in Cayo. The purpose of the camp was to help change the behaviors of fifty children between the ages of five and sixteen years so as to encourage them to protect the environment and support for the phase out of these hazardous materials. An exhibit showcasing the children’s work from the camp is now open at the House of Culture in San Ignacio. Organizer Anita Tzec says that the camp met its objectives.

 

Anita Tzec

Anita Tzec, Organizer

“It was the first of its kind in our community and I feel it has come as a motivation for our kids. As you can see the kids are here. The parents are here. They are very enthusiastic about it. We have started seeing changes in some of the family and some of the food business in the community. So I think this camp has had a very important impact in our community. It is at the ground level, at the community level where we need to have that integral education for out children. That is where we feel that the impact is larger.”

 

And the lessons were not lost on the participants.  They are now motivated to make a difference in their community:

 

Annika Reyes

Annika Reyes, Participant

“It was very fun because I got time to spent with my friends and we got to learn a lot of things of what plastic can do to the environment.”

 

Reporter

“So what is the most important thing that you learned?”

 

Annika Reyes

“That in the village, people from town always come and throw their garbage from there. We always see the fishes eating them and it does not look nice for the village.”

 

Reporter

“So what do you think that you could do to help your community?”

 

Annika Reyes

“Well I am thinking that every Saturday the kids from the camp can get together to do a community clean up to clean the rivers, the streets and our neighborhood.”

 

Sasil Penados

Sasil Penados, Participant

“I think we should stop throwing garbage because if we throw garbage it pollutes our rivers and all the sea. Some turtles get sick and animals will eat it because they think it is food.”

 

Minister of Environment Dr. Omar Figueroa says he is encouraged about the future of no Styrofoam and single-use plastic in Belize. He says these kinds of grassroots initiatives will help the government’s ban:

 

Omar Figueroa

Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment

“When you set out with these types of initiatives, you know from the onset that the government can set out a policy initiative but at the end of the day if the country, the people don’t buy into it and try to make it happen it will be impossible to accomplish. The issue of plastic and Styrofoam is recognized globally as one of the main environmental challenges so when we come here to this meeting and to see what was accomplished in that workshop, to see  that there is a way forward it is really encouraging. I think that we well on the way in implement this ban.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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