Full Circle, Belize
The Placencia Peninsula in Belize borders the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the east and a virgin mangrove-fringed lagoon, rivers, and a pristine rainforest to the west. These rich and diverse ecosystems are severely threatened by plastic pollution which is abundant in the targeted area. The local practice of burning plastic waste results in toxic fumes impacting on human health, and also leads to forest fires. In close collaboration with 10 villages, local schools, businesses and authorities, clean up events will clear 20km and install 300 collection bins to collect approximately 500kg of waste annually. Local communities will learn about litter and recycling, students will be encouraged to bring in their own waste plastic from home, and this, along with other collected plastic will be upcycled into educational signs for visitors and residents, as well as affordable everyday items for sale, thanks to the purchase of 4 plastic moulding machines. Local youths from vulnerable populations will be trained to develop and manage the ongoing work of the project.