One aspect of plastic pollution is that it plagues shorelines around the planet, and sometimes those are fantastic places to visit. In April 2014 we were fortunate to do a trial run of our “One Beach at a Time” sailing program. Our crew of 21 required three sailing catamarans to accommodate and they proved luxurious for all.
BVI is a sailing vacation mecca and they understand that pristine water and beaches are good for business. However the pressures from thousands of charter sailing trips all year long are real and obvious if you are looking. Beach bars use plastic cups and straws and many of them are lost into the bushes or the water.
The awareness is there but actions are a bit behind schedule and there is still a problem. In some of the best snorkel spots we found plastic traces of humanity and in one of the most famous beaches we pulled up over 100# of debris from the anchorage and delivered it to the dumpster. The island residents that asked what we were doing were delighted to learn about our concern for their neighborhood.
BVI has recently invested in a new waste management facility on Tortola that uses incineration to reduce the trash to ash. This is only a partial solution because the exhaust from the process carries smoke and ashes downwind to neighboring St. John, US Virgin Islands. There are discussions on making more changes.
The trip was a great success and set the tone for the future. Our next sailing trip was just run in December of 2015 and we are open to run custom trips for your group.