Hotels on Small Islands - Call for Sustainability Challenges

Submit your own idea/concept/solution

Plastic recycling and Lack of local produce.

idea Owners

Posted by Bucuti & Tara on 19-08-2015 - Last updated on 19-08-2015

Our Resort is located on the small Island of Aruba a few miles of the coast of Venezuela. We are an environmentally friendly resort and have encountered several issues in areas that deal with the environment. We have a recycling program that we have been running for years at the resort. All the plastic collected goes to a facility on the Island and basically sits there as there is no plastic recycling processing equipment on the Island and exporting this plastic unless you have a very large amount is very costly. I am sure we are not the only Island in the Caribbean with this problem. Being on a small Island also brings problems with availability of local produce. As an environmentally friendly resort we would always rather purchase locally than importing. Due to the inconsistency of availability of local produce we are forced to import our produce in order to keep up with demand and minimum consistent quality standards. So we have two challenges: 1) How can we make it feasible for a Caribbean Island or group of Caribbean Islands to have plastic recycling and processing be a reality. 2) To be able to grow different produce on a larger scale in a sustainable manner. We would be very interested to hear the thoughts of others and receive advice from experts so that we can find the best solution to our challenges.



  1. Bonnie Lewtas Bonnie Lewtas

    Thank you for submitting your challenges! It is wonderful to see all the steps you have already taken. Hopefully others will be inspired by your commitment to sustainability. The problems you have outlined are definitly widespread in the Caribbean! Recycling in particular is one where the islands and hotels need to form partnerships to make processing more cost-effective. Or perhaps, through the open-innovation process, we can develop a solution for small scale recycling or compressing specific to small islands that do not have the capacity to fill larger systems. As a first step, I would suggest contacting Julie Swartz of Green and Clean VI and Charlotte McDevitt of Green VI - both are waste management experts working on trying to solve waste and recycling issues in the BVI and Caribbean. They also both work on certain agricultural projects for securing local produce. It would probably be interesting to hear their perspectives and see which ideas you could share or partner on. Here are links to their organizations: What I love about this challenge is that both issues are inherently connected: With all the plastic packaging involved with produce imports, helping to develop local food supplies will automatically reduce the amount of plastic that enters your waste stream. It is a perfect example of how island hotels need to think holistically. Great submission! Can't wait for the innonatives community to start on creative solutions!