Garden seeks to ban single-use bottles

  • Contributed

    Water-bottle filling stations are now at the National Tropical Botanical Garden South Shore Visitors Center in Kukuiula, across from Spouting Horn Park.

KALAHEO — National Botanical Garden’s South Shore Visitors Center at Kukuiula now has water-bottle filling stations and, for a limited time, is handing out NTBG reusable bottles when customers spend $100 on gift-shop merchandise.

It’s part of an effort to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill and to encourage the elimination of single-use plastics at the gardens.

“Guests are encouraged to bring their own reusable bottles while enjoying the picturesque surroundings of McBryde Garden and Allerton Garden,” NTBG staff said in a press release.

The new fill stations will help keep more than 20,000 plastic water bottles out of the waste stream each year, helping NTBG achieve its goal of eliminating single-use plastic bottles at the gardens. The county Office of Economic Development helped fund the project through a grant.

NTBG’s efforts add to many others on Kauai, targeting single-use plastic from different angles — Surfrider, BRad Foundation and other organizations take on cleanup operations to get plastic off the beaches, while organizations like Zero Waste Kauai promote a switch to other types of containers to reduce the amount of plastic being purchased to begin with.

Single-use plastic bags were banned on Kauai in 2009, and Kilauea was declared a Styrofoam-free community.

With China stopping the flow of recyclables into their country, Garden Isle Disposal has had to find different buyers for Kauai’s recyclables, which has resulted in the island’s recycling program halting the acceptance of clamshells and plastic trays as of February 2018.

If they’re thrown in the trash, those clamshells, plastic trays and any other plastics mixed in are delivered to the landfill, adding to an already at-capacity landfill.

Using water-bottle filling stations at the NTBG South Shore Visitors Center helps reduce the amount of water bottles going into that landfill. There are other filling stations around the island, like at the airport and in the rotunda of the Lihue Civic Center Mo‘ikeha Building.

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Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

2 Comments
  1. Diane Torkelson September 6, 2019 12:25 pm Reply

    Bravo to the NTGB for making and implementing this decision. I hope this spreads to multiple organizations and businesses on the island.


  2. Charlie Chimknee September 7, 2019 11:18 pm Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    Besides the single use plastic bottles, and the multi use as well, what is worse for people and society is the contents offered in plastic containers whether for eating or drinking.

    Apparently all plastic gives off VOC, volatile organic compounds, whether it be a drink container or a computer, furniture, toys, etc., even new carpets…are not good fumes for people to ingest or breathe in. And be sure to factor in it is the accumulation of these poisons over years and decades that finally renders you sick, with chemical treatments that burden life with even more illness of side effects, some side effects are killers.

    Plastics “off gas” what they are made of, and since they are made from petroleum and petrochemicals what off gasses seems like it would be going into our food and drink in the plastic bottle or container, and petroleum and petrochemicals in the plastic containers are not good for our bodies.

    The smell of new things like carpets and new cars are the result of off gassing of plastic and it seems it would mean the plastic in carpet and so many other products off gassing petrochemicals would mean we are breathing them into our lungs and thus our bodies. Here we are tricked again by modern capitalism, intentional or not.

    When we try to think about this it is like a car exhausts the break down of petroleum through the exhaust pipe. Is off gassing of the break down of petroleum that makes plastics like an exhaust pipe ridding the motor of exhaust. True or not not whatever is happening to the off gassing of plastic does not sound right or heathy for humans

    Combine those chemicals with the weird chemicals in our food and drink and you have a real unmonitored procedure for the unsafety of daily chemical cocktails.

    We are told mixing drugs is not safe and your pharmacist or doctor should be notified and let you know if it is safe, but too often in a person’s day many chemicals are ingested or inhaled, some like tobacco and the carcinogenic flavors of the E-cigarettes are even intentionally smoked…Forgive them Father for They know not What They do…!

    Petrochemicals, the cause of most pollution on earth, and the cause of so many and so much disease, you’d think it was a conspiracy by those profiteering from petrochemicals, but alas, it is only Capitalism, making a buck my any and many means…even at the loss of consumers.

    Capitalism gone wild and out of control, it’s almost like it and petrochemicals have taken over and there is no stopping it now…without future strict abstinence of its use and halting its manufacture.

    When the humans figure it out, will it be too late to reverse this easy money pandemic scourge of our earth..flagrant violation of the Laws of Nature?

    Will people ever spend enough time every day to maintain and/or restore their health and their optimal longevity…or will the ignoring of actual personal health care never become routine while the rut of disease care makes all sick and a few rich.

    Hohum, to each’s own…

    We need another huddle…!


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