It started with a cocktail at a beachside bar...
We noticed each drink, refreshing and fruity, was served in a single-use plastic cup and came with a plastic straw. Stir. Sip. Gone in a few tropical moments. So what? Cheers, right?
“We use plastic cups for an evening, only for them to outlast our entire civilization.”
— PAM LONGOBARDI, DRIFTERS PROJECT
Did you know that plastic lasts forever and is showing up in our oceans and on our shorelines, sometimes intact but often degraded into tiny particles?
...So, we figured, let’s do something.
Many good things are already happening to protect St. John. After all, it's a conservation haven, beginning with the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park and reflected far and wide in the literally dozens of smart environmental programs and ecologically-minded initiatives taking place on this special island.
Life "on island" presents unique challenges. There's no recycling for plastics. And a composting facility for some of the newer compostable plastic alternatives is not yet available. Land space is at a premium. We can't just truck trash "away" across a freeway. Waste here is barged to St. Thomas, where the EPA has ordered the Territory landfill to close soon.
What's a plastic bottle to do? That's easy. Just don't come here, buddy. Stop.
Too much single-use plastic does irreparable harm to the USVI coastal environment and its economy. Doing something today to curb the use and flow of these unnecessary disposables tomorrow will help make a healthier, more vibrant economy and island community, both before and after Transfer Day 2017.
Plastic-Free Island St. John is intended to lift up and focus on new and innovative steps we can take -- sometimes small, perhaps eventually dramatic -- to make a difference in one essential dimension: reducing and eliminating single-use disposable plastic.
We're a group of local residents, visitors, educators, artists, conservationists, activists, national park enthusiasts, St. John lovers and local organization members who've determined that, together, we can help make single-use plastic decline and -- eventually -- disappear from St. John. Please join us.