Consumed: Tortuga

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 Tortuga

Does your company have an existing recycling program? If so what products and materials are recycled?
In 2019, Tortugua implemented it’s first ever recycling initiative, We came together as a board and said, “What can we do to make Tortugua more carbon neutral and increase our recycling?” So for the first time ever we started recycling our local rum bottles. So ever rum bottle that goes out to bars, restaurants, hotels we bring right back, we refill them and we keep recycling them.

So in 2019 Tortuga started its first ever recycling committee. We felt it was important that we started seeing how we could be more carbon neutral, recycle more and have less impact on the Cayman Islands environment. So, the first thing we did was assess our bottles. What we do now, is we have a program where we pick up and return all of our bottles from our local rum distillery back there, refill, and reuse them.

How would you describe the impact of waste/pollution in the Cayman Islands?

The impact of waste pollution in the Cayman Islands can be pretty obvious whether you’re walking down certain beaches. Whether you’re walking down certain areas or driving down busy roads you can see waste pollution everywhere. And what’s hurt us the most as a company is when we see Tortuga products or Tortuga waste on the side of the road or anywhere across the Cayman Islands. We want to try and reduce that as much as possible.

How is your company making changes to becoming more sustainable? What are your Goals?

In 2020/2021 a big part of Tortuga’s initiatives is to become more sustainable, more responsible and forward thinking. Our goals are to reduce the amount of plastic we use in every single one of our stores. To reduce the amount of plastic used in every one of our single products and start working on how we can work more with the community to recycle across the Cayman Islands. Everything from bottle bags at our stores to getting rid of the plastic bags that we use in our stores every single day. We just started working on our Tortuga wine bags which are completely reusable. And what we want to see much less plastic coming in and out of our doors and in and out of our country. If we can get there by the end of 2021 we’re gonna be very, very happy.

What message does your company have to the Cayman public regarding waste management?

The message that Tortuga has to the Cayman Islands public regarding waste management is let us know how we can help. We are a company of 140 different people. We have been here for 37 years in the Cayman Islands and it is so important for us to work with the community on these key initiatives. So, we want to say, let us know how we can help. We are open all the time. Come in and see us in any of our stores in our main office on North Sound road and tell us how we can work with you to reduce our waste. Let’s work together as a community. We’re a small community and a proactive community. So, I think if we all work together and if Tortuga can be one of those companies that leads by example we’d be very happy. So, the message is let’s get together. Let’s work together to make Cayman a better place.