Plastic waste management at communities in Peru

Seeking solutions for processing plastic waste in communities in Peru
Plastic waste management at communities in Peru

RESPONSible Travel Peru offers tailor-made trips in Peru and focuses on the local communities. The goal is to travel responsibly by taking into account the environment, the culture and the economy. RESPONS wants to make plastic-free travel possible and now faces the following challenge: optimising plastic waste disposal in communities.

"Sustainability plays a role in all areas, including plastic," says founder Guido van Es. Plastic straws, bags and certain packaging have been banned in Peru since a few months. According to Van Es you can see cardboard and straws made of metal everywhere. "The population is now very focussed on it: a good moment to ban all plastic" continues Van Es. Better Places, a Social Enterprise with which RESPONS is affiliated, also has the goal to travel plastic-free by 2020. According to Van Es signing the plastic pledge fits in well with this goal.

RESPONS tries to look at local initiatives and tackle local problems with local solutions in the workshops with communities. They also look at how sustainable a trip is and what its impact is, this is all measured in the sustainability report.  As a result, a clear overview of how sustainable a trip actually is can be provided. It also plays a major role in the organisation itself. "We are very horizontal: two CEO’s, three managers and below that the entire team. Everyone is very involved and there is a lot of room for input," says Van Es. Among colleagues it’s forbidden to use plastic bottles or unnecessary plastic packaging, "Everyone is very involved and passionate!".

Van Es mentions that many of the communities they work with do not have proper waste management. The communities are left with with a lot of plastic (from themselves and tourists) and don't really know what to do with it. Often it ends up on a big pile somewhere. Many villages want help so that the plastic can be recycled and the plastic gets a second life. In concrete terms, there is a demand for methods to prevent plastic from lying around.

Do you have a solution to give plastic a second life in communities in Peru?

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