By now, we all know how detrimental single-use plastics are to our environment- and, in particular, our oceans. One of the more ubiquitous offenders are plastic bags. It is estimated that Americans use over 100 billion plastic bags a year (almost 1,500 per family), but recycle less than one percent < source >. These un-recycled plastic bags find their way to over-crowded landfills where they spend the next few hundred years photo-degrading into micro-plastics ; or, worst yet, they are carried on the breeze or through storm drains to bodies of water and ultimately our oceans. There are those who recognize the threat these “disposable” bags pose to ocean life and have resolved to take action. One such crusader in Placencia is tackling the problem head-on- one bracelet at a time. His business card says: William “The Plastic Man“ and you can find him just about any day walking the beach and Sidewalk in Placencia with a string of handmade bracelets. He’s quick to explain how he collects discarded plastic bags of all colors and pulls and stretches them into a thin, tight- but incredibly strong- string. He then twists, braids, and loops the colored strands into remarkably complex and durable bracelets. The Plastic Man will even do custom orders with the size and color(s) of your choice. It’s all too easy to blow our budget while on vacation buying trinkets and do-dads, and other flotsam that we wouldn’t give a second glance when not under the influence of the Caribbean sun and tropical breezes. Before you leave Placencia, however, be sure to take home a unique piece made from recycled material from a local artisan- all the while knowing that you helped keep a few more pieces of plastic out of the ocean- and say “Hi” to the Plastic Man for me.
Plastic is everywhere: plastic bags, plastic utensils, plastic cups, plastic bottles, plastic wrap- and most of consumer plastic is “disposable.” It are these “single-use” plastics that show up most prominently in our oceans (to the tune of 8 million TONS annually). This “kudos” goes out to Barefoot Beach Bar for making the switch to biodegrable paper straws. Some establishments made the switch to paper or bamboo initially, but seem to have fallen back into their old plastic-pushing ways. Thanks for sticking to your guns Barefoot!
So... amidst all the “Off-Season” closings, there shines a silver lining that is the Yucatán Taco Stand. I stumbled across this place on their day off, but the manager, Dylan, was kind enough to talk me up a bit and convince me that a return trip was worth it. I’m glad he did. A beer and a “tempura caterpillar roll” (a Caribbean twist on an Asian-inspired dish) later and I’m hooked! Great location upstairs and directly across from the futbol field in the Village- y’all be sure to check it out!