Bowen & Bowen take steps to alleviate plastic litter problem

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 46            December 14, 2000

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Mario Donis demonstrates new plastic grinder at San Pedro Distributors

Everybody complains but nobody does anything about it. Well that is not the case for one Belize company. Bowen & Bowen Ltd. has taken it upon themselves to help eliminate some of the plastic garbage in the country.

     Just recently Bowen & Bowen Ltd. started distributing Coke, Sprite and Fanta soda in clear plastic bottles. This caused some alarm to this community, since at times, it already seemed to be bathed in plastic litter. This is no longer a problem, as two efforts are already in place to remedy the situation. Bowen & Bowen's solution to this excess plastic waste is that Coke, Sprite and Fanta plastic soda bottles be returned to the distributor for a five cent refund. This encourages the population not to toss their empties into the street or yard. Secondly, the company offers to also receive (without refund-sorry!) Crystal water bottles for chipping in their grinders, set up at their distributors across Belize.

    Ordered some time ago from Mexico, San Pedro Distributors has finally received their much needed grinder for the island's plastic bottles. However, Bowen and Bowen Ltd. will only grind the plastic bottles they distribute. When a large amount of the company's plastic bottles are collected, the machine is plugged in and put to work. Caps are removed and bottles flattened before being fed through the top into the hopper. The middle section contains a cone-shaped grinder which feeds into a metal waste basket in the bottom. Ricky Lanza of San Pedro Distributors told the San Pedro Sun, "It takes a very large quantity of plastic bottles to amount to even a handful of chips." Approximately 500 bottles have been ground to date and this has only filled a three-foot square box half way.

    Recycling these chips is the other issue. These chips are not melted down and recycled into new plastic bottles. Mr. Lanza explained he will be experimenting with his collection, using them in cement as foundation or plaster, not only for their bonding strength, but for the color effect. Suggestions are needed, so anyone with any ideas on how to make use of these quarter-inch plastic chips may submit them to their local distributor.

    So, let's clean up San Pedro! San Pedro Distributors is ready to chip away your plastic bottle woes!
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