Hotel Tropico Latino
Tripadvisor - Certificate of Excellence - 2016

Let’s Keep Santa Teresa Beaches Trash Free

Hotel Tropico Latino hopes to inspire Santa Teresa businesses to join them in regular monthly cleanups to keep Santa Teresa beaches trash free.

Santa Teresa beaches Hotel Tropico Latino Costa Rica
Hotel Tropico Latino wants to preserve the beautiful Santa Teresa beaches where it is located in Costa Rica.

Hotel Tropico Latino wants to ignite a movement to keep the beaches of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica clean.

They propose that Santa Teresa businesses unite together to donate an hour of their time each month to go with their employees to pick up trash and debris from Santa Teresa’s beaches.

“Together we can do a big cleanup to leave the beach completely clean, and create community awareness while conserving our natural resources. We hope that everyone will unite with us to keep Santa Teresa clean,” states a hotel video message.

Santa Teresa beaches – Playa Carmen, Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa – consistently win Costa Rica’s ecological Blue Flag award. And tourism runs the economy, with tourists from all over the world coming to enjoy the breathtaking pristine beaches, beautiful jungle and sunny tropical climate.

However, like all tourists everywhere, they generate trash from consuming items. Add to that the normal waste from the community and businesses, and it multiplies radically. Then there are the random flotsam and jetsam that simply come ashore from ocean currents.

Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Beach cleanup at Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

In past years, Hotel Tropico Latino helped spearhead a beach cleanup program with area businesses, hiring a person to pick up trash five days a week. In 2012, a whopping 10,515 kilos (23,190 pounds) of garbage was collected during the year. The group put out garbage and recycling bins with signs on the beaches, and worked to educate the community and visiting tourists about environmental conservation.

Santa Teresa now has a monthly recycling program. And some of that plastic ocean trash washing up on Santa Teresa beaches this year is being converted to high-fashion clothing by designer/retailer H&M using Bionic Yarn – polyester made of recycled plastic waste. Bionic Yarn is made from plastic that washes up on beaches and waterway shorelines that is of too poor quality for traditional recycling, and usually ends up in landfills.

Conscious Exclusive Collection, photo courtesy of HM
High-fashion clothing made from recycled plastic ocean trash, photo courtesy of H&M.

On World Oceans Day 2017 earlier this month, the Costa Rican government pledged to fight marine pollution in the form of single-use plastic and also created a new marine protected area near Santa Teresa.

Costa Rica added an 800-square-kilometer marine conservation area at Cabo Blanco at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, an important area for dolphins, whales, sea turtles, sea birds and other marine life. The country now protects slightly more than 15 percent of its territorial waters under conservation, joining The United Nations Environment Program in its goal to preserve one-tenth of all oceans by 2020.

Santa Teresa beaches
Beautiful Santa Teresa beaches in Costa Rica.

After joining the global UN Clean Seas campaign earlier this year, Costa Rica promised to replace single-use plastic – which can take hundreds of years to degrade – with renewable and compostable materials in at least 80 percent of the country’s public agencies, municipalities and businesses by 2021.

Article by Shannon Farley