Thursday, May 29, 2014

Beer Comes wrapped in Plastic in Costa Rica, but not like this!

I don't know if any plastic wrapping is good for nature, but I do know this photo is going around facebook and the internet like crazy.
This is one of those times when I hope this is photoshopped, but sadly, I think it might be real. A couple of months ago, I researched the reason shrimp are so expensive in Costa Rica, being from Texas where they are abundant, we were surprised when we moved here last year at the cost and difficulty in finding shrimp. In simple terms, Costa Ricans really care about their turtles and turtles eat shrimp, so they do not allow over-shrimping. I can only assume this is why they use shrink wrapping instead of six-pack rings, like in the picture above.
Regardless, I can't imaging that either choice is good for the environment, but then again, we need our beer. So I did some research to find a better solution to aid me in leaving a smaller footprint. Apparently, there are quite a few places who deliver growlers in Costa Rica. A growler is sold in 1 liter and 2 liter sizes and traditionally in an amber or dark colored bottle to reduce light or sun penetration. I have researched a few breweries that will even fill a plastic 2 liter bottle taking a whole new step toward recycling. Since Matt and I only drink about 1 beer each day, a growler would last us about 1 week, with no waste.
Some of the local breweries offer this service. Costa Ricans are also pretty good about recycling their cans and bottles. Even if someone throws a can out, I often see another person right behind them collecting them. I don't know what happens to the plastic wrappers when they are thrown out, probably just added to the trash somewhere. But hopefully with some awareness about the use of growlers, we can encourage more distributors to offer what I think is a great service. So while I was researching beer on the internet, I also stumbled upon a list of Costa Rica beers as rated. The following are the highest rated beers brewed in Costa Rica as they appear in the ranks at www.RateBeer.com.
So I know Costa Ricans care about their turtles, but I have a feeling beer will always be more important. So what can we do about avoiding pictures like our poor turtle friend at the top of the page? I have heard of people cutting the rings up after opening a 6pack. Will it work? Dunno, but I bet it might help. It is interesting that a tiny country like Costa Rica does not use 6-pack rings. What if all countries stopped using them? We can't solve all the problems in the world, but we can identify the stupid ones and avoid them. Now I have to try and find the closest place to buy and fill a growler - I will let you know what I turn up:) Pura Vida!

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