Waste pollution is an increasing environmental issue. One look at “Mount Trashmore” and it is clearly evident that waste management and recycling needs to be a top priority. We cannot afford to allow massive amounts of trash to continue piling up in a landfill or constantly find litter along our beaches, in our oceans impacting both local wildlife and our environment.
There are local companies which are stepping up to help create a greener future for the Cayman Islands. Specifically, these companies are incorporating ways to help promote sustainability and recycling to help reduce their use of plastic and overall waste. It is encouraging to know that local companies are working together with our community to help bring attention to this important issue and come together to help create positive solutions to reducing the use of plastic and waste.
Q&A with Cayman Spirits
Does your company have an existing recycling program? If so what products and materials are recycled?
Since our inception we have always had a recycling program allowing customers that buy rum to be able to bring back the empty bottles back to us which we keep and then are able to recycle. In addition, some bars that have the space and interest in doing so are able to save the bottles then we can collect them from them on the next order. In addition, we have also just launched the eco six pack ring holder for all of our Rum and Cola, our Vodka Seltzers which are completely biodegradable and do not end up in the landfill. If they do they biodegrade in a matter of weeks. They are actually made from spent brewery waste.
How would you describe the impact of waste/pollution in the Cayman Islands?
So, I think whether you are in the tourism industry, whether you’re in the financial services or even just anyone living here and just enjoying the island. I think the biggest asset that we all have is the natural beauty of the island. You can see the impact of pollution and waste constantly. Whether its litter, whether its trash on the beaches, whether its the growing garbage dump. You can see that natural asset being eroded and we all have to be cautious to take care of that and protect that asset because that’s what gives us the ability not just to enjoy the island but also its an economic asset for all of us as well as be able to exist here.
What suggestion do you have to help fight the waste problem here in Cayman?
In Cayman, I think obviously there is a responsibility on everyone to be conscious of what you’re purchasing. To look at the packaging on everything you use. To make conscious decisions in terms of what you’re buying and what decisions you’re making. We all have the ability to impact change. But that change has to come from not just individuals but also from businesses and also from the government looking at the policies that are made and how we can impact just a reduction in the amount of waste that is generated.
How is your company making changes to becoming more sustainable? What are your Goals?
So, no matter what we are doing whether it is an event or a mobile bar. Whether its the purchasing of the items we bring in, or whether its how we deal with our customers that has to be part of our everyday decision. For us that meant a lot of things. We’ve introduced a program at our GT Outpost that I think is the first zero waste rum purchasing option that Cayman has had. You can literally bring back a bottle, we have a wall of barrels that you can fill directly from the bottle. So you are creating zero additional waste by reusing the same bottle over and over. We have also launched a six pack ring holder that is completely biodegradable. And we have always given our customers the ability to return their bottles to be recycled as well. So, there is a wide variety of things we’re trying to do. It can’t be one thing that you do, it has to be part of every decision.
What message does your company have to the Cayman public regarding waste management?
Obviously, there is a big responsibility you can see a growing movement of a lot of people really starting to make changes in their individual life. I think the biggest thing that we need to do as a country is look at the economy of how waste is created, how it impacts the businesses and government. It may be a controversial suggestion but I think personally that waste collection for example, is too cheap. We need to be impacted by that as businesses in order to make change and there can be government policies that in many countries the amount of waste you generate is taxed and if we have that kind of solution to adjust the problem I think you will start to see a lot of changes a lot quicker.