Naval Supermarket Helps Protect the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve

100_0103.jpgFrom El Pinguino, 13 Mayo 2009

The Puerto Williams Naval Supermarket joined efforts in April to celebrate “Earth Month”, putting into practice an initiative to convert to the use of returnable bottles to reduce the contamination in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. This decision can seem basic, but in reality it requires a great amount of coordination. From Puerto Williams, these returned bottles must be carried by ship to the closest bottling company in Punta Arenas. About half of the population of Cape Horn County is employed by the navy, and these actions will significantly support efforts to reduce the world-wide ecological catastrophy of plastic. Amazingly it takes a two liter plastic bottle hundreds of years to disappear.

The motivation for this effort is the fruit of educational campaigns conducted in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve since 2000 by the Omora Ethnobotanical Park, the University of Magallanes and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, where the local navy district has enthusiastically collaborated throughout. It bears mentioning that this program is also part of a broader initiative to convert plastic bags in the town to reusable, cloth bags.

With such measures as this, the Chilean Navy demonstrates its committment to social responsability and the bettering of life for all living beings in the extreme tip of the Americas.