TORONTO — The news reports coming in from Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands are heartbreaking, and the images even more so.
MONTEGO BAY — As of Feb. 1 Sandals Resorts International (SRI) will eliminate all Styrofoam from all of its 19 Sandals and Beaches Resorts, and look at eliminating other plastic across its resorts by September.
“As we enter the New Year, it’s incredibly important to our Sandals family that environmental sustainability remains a key priority,” said Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International.
“After eliminating plastic straws, stirrers, laundry bags and gift shop bags last year, we’re choosing to eliminate Styrofoam from our resorts. We’re proud that many of the islands in which we operate are also making this shift to ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean.”
The elimination of Styrofoam is particularly important in the Caribbean region, says Stewart, with its abundance of marine wildlife. Researchers have found plastic fragments including Styrofoam in 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species.
“Eliminating Styrofoam is yet another way we’re reducing our environmental footprint and improving the health of our Caribbean communities,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation. “Education is critical, and that’s where the Sandals Foundation comes in. We want to keep our islands clean and beautiful for citizens, visitors and marine wildlife alike.”
All Sandals and Beaches Resorts are certified by the EarthCheck benchmarking and certification program, with nine resorts currently holding Master Certification. The company is the only hotel chain in the world to have all of its resorts certified.