Loggerhead Marinelife Center recently said goodbye to selling plastic bottles on campus â€“ just in time for Earth Day.
Now, the Center sells only sustainably-packaged beverages on campus â€“ including LMCâ€™s Tortuga CafÃ©, the first establishment to participate in the Center’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant program, set to launch this May.
More than 80 percent of water bottles end up in landfills, composing the majority of litter on beaches and in oceans, according to EcoWatch. Eliminating plastic bottles from campus will keep thousands of single-use bottles out of these landfills â€“ and the ocean.
â€œFor those who donâ€™t work in the retail business, it may seem easy to stop selling plastic bottles â€“ which would be true if we stopped selling beverages altogether,â€ said Tommy Cutt, LMCâ€™s chief conservation officer. â€œThere are still very few options available to replace water bottles. Those that exist do not have distribution processes like larger vendors. It took months of coordination and planning with sales reps and distributors to make this happen.â€
This on-campus sustainability initiative is one of many for Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Last year, staff members formed a Campus Sustainability Committee to reduce environmental impacts in day-to-day workflows and created an off-campus garden filled with green peppers and lettuce varieties to help feed LMCâ€™s green sea turtle patients.
This summer, LMCâ€™s gift store will begin offering only reusable bags to guests.
â€œOne step at a time, weâ€™re implementing simple solutions with a huge impact,â€ said Kate Fratalia, LMCâ€™s director of retail operations. â€œWeâ€™re excited to continue accelerating our conservation impact throughout the Centerâ€™s retail operations â€“ and hopefully inspire others to do the same.â€
For more information about Loggerhead Marinelife Centerâ€™s sustainability initiatives, visit marinelife.org/campus-sustainability.