With the ever-mounting concern about plastic proliferation on our landscapes, in our oceans, and in our landfills, we asked local businesses to tell us what steps they’re taking to promote a sustainable Nosara. We got the following responses to our Facebook post of March 6.

  • Some rental agents put five-gallon water dispensers in homes for people to use in refilling their bottles. Bobbi Johnson is one of those agents, and she encourages others to do the same.
  • Il Basilico no longer sells drinks in plastic bottles and provides a straw only on customer request.
  • If you bring in empty bottles for cleaning supplies, Mermaids refills them. All of the store’s cleaning supplies are biodegradable.
  • A bag of beach trash delivered to Hot Tamale entitles you to 30% off one item, which will be packaged in a paper bag.
  • The Nosara.com shop has begun selling aluminum water bottles for $5. The bottle entitles you to free refills of filtered water at Cafe de Paris restaurant.

As highlighted in the March 6 post, Organico Deli-Market puts a surcharge on water in plastic bottles and sends the proceeds to three local NGOs.

In 2005, Giardino Tropicale owners Marcel and Myriam Schaerer were distressed when Coca-Cola announced that it would no longer bottle its drinks in glass. Marcel wrote an open letter which he sent to La Nación. When the paper declined to publish it as a letter, he paid for a full-page ad instead. Shortly thereafter, Coca-Cola executives from Costa Rica, Mexico and Atlanta visited the Giardino Tropicale. They outlined their commitment to recycling but the Schaerers held their ground. As a result, soft drinks are still available in bottles in Nosara. And all beverages sold at the Giardino Tropicale are still bottled in glass.

One reader remembered that until the end of the 20th century, the beer and soda truck made house calls. You put your empty glass bottles at the curb and got full ones in return. Every beverage came in glass, and it was common practice for people to keep a few empties around, for an easy, environment-friendly way to take drinks off the premises of local bars or restaurants.
Those were the days. Could all our hotels and restaurants be persuaded to switch back to glass?