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Maui partnership encourages visitors to reduce single-use plastic waste

The amount of water to make the bottle could be up to six or seven times what's inside the bottle, according to the Water Footprint Network.
Steven Depolo
/
Flickr
The amount of water to make the bottle could be up to six or seven times what's inside the bottle, according to the Water Footprint Network.

A conservation group and the Maui Visitors Bureau are partnering to reduce single-use plastic waste by visitors.

The Surfrider Foundation’s Maui Chapter launched the “Rise Above Plastics While on Vacation” program in April 2020.

The goal is to encourage and educate visitors to use reusable bottles or containers instead of purchasing single-use plastic water bottles.

"So if we’re saying that 3 million visitors come to Maui each year and the average vacation length is eight days, if every visitor used three single-use plastic water bottles per day during their vacation on Maui — that’s 72 million single-use plastic water bottles per year," said Marina Scott, program coordinator for Surfrider Foundation Maui.

"We know that our global recycling rate for plastic is around 9%. So we’re still leaving 65 million plastic water bottles in our landfills. But we also know that they litter our islands, and they get in the ocean," Scott told HPR.

A handful of vacation rentals and businesses are participating in the program.

Surfrider Maui and the bureau hope to expand the program to include more rentals, and hope hotels and other local businesses will participate.

More information can be found at maui.surfrider.org

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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