• Dolphins can now dance freely in Utila’s turquoise waters without fearing that plastic will end up in their stomachs.
  • The more than five million plastic bottles that each year make their way to the Honduran island, in the Caribbean department of Islas de la Bahía, will no longer finish in the ocean.
  • The island’s authorities are now using the raw material to pave Utila’s streets, keeping the cetaceans, whose dance attracts 2.3 million tourists each year, safe from the plastic invasion.
  • The municipality’s innovative solution is a mixture of plastic bottles and cement, and aims to stop the environmental pollution that threatens not only the impressive dolphin sanctuary, but all the marine species currently living in the second largest reef in the world.
  • About five million plastic bottles arrive at the island each year, in addition to what the sea brings to the beaches.
  • So we decided to get rid of this plastic by shredding it and using it as a material for the concrete mix to pave our streets.
  • Inspired by an idea that was first applied in India, Utila’s plastic roads are more sustainable, durable and cheaper than conventional roads.
  • It was the Indian example, coupled with a tourist’s video of Canada’s plastic roads, that inspired Mayor Bodden.
  • Mr. Bodden says 28 per cent of the pavement formula comes from shredded plastic, which allows the municipality to save money that would otherwise be spent on cement.
  • To make the pavement, some 150,000 soft drink bottles were converted into 3,600 kg of shredded plastic, then mixed with cement and sand in a laboratory in the city of San Pedro Sula, in northern Honduras, to test its resistance to weight and weather conditions.
  • Now the plastic generated on the island is shredded and used as pavement, and it works very well, it doesn’t crack or get damaged.
  • With these initiatives we are preserving the natural resources and the future of our island.
  • The plastic raw material is collected from beaches and the recycling center, crushed to form balls, then taken to the construction site in huge black bags.
  • It is not difficult to acquire plastic — the Motagua River, which originates in Guatemala and flows into the Atlantic, deposits enormous amounts of waste into 13 different municipalities along the way.
  • Known for its coral reefs, numerous diving areas and impressive nightlife, Utila was chosen by lonelyplanet.com as one of the 10 best diving destinations in the world, a claim supported by the United Nations, which named it the best diving island in the Caribbean in 2017.