One thing most can say about the living in or visiting the Cayman Islands is that the need for a cool beverage is often at hand.
And up until now, it’s been standard practice to serve those drinks in disposable plastic cups.
After decades spent in the food packaging business, Fabri-Kal’s CEO has made it his personal mission to support the development of an alternative.
And that’s an incredible move, coming from the CEO North America’s sixth largest thermoformer and very successful plastic food service products manufacturer.
But the alternative was compelling, and it’s called Greenware.
And now, thanks to Island Supply, it’s here in Cayman.
When the company, which is part of the Jaques Scott group, discovered it at a Florida trade show last fall, it knew they it hit on something big.
Immediately, they began distributing it as part of its new Green Solutions campaign.
‘The price is comparable to that of conventional plastic, but it’s environmentally friendly. It’s unbelievable,’ says Island Supply General Manager Chris Weaver.
‘Really, especially in a place like Cayman where there is no plastic recycling or a proper landfill, there should be no reason why anyone should consider buying plastic cups again.’
Island Supply’s prominent clients agree. You probably didn’t know this until now, but venues like the Ritz-Carlton, Harvey’s Island Grill, Botswain’s Beach, Sunset House, the Cracked Conch, Calico Jack’s, and Aqua Beach have all started carrying Greenware.
The significance of this product is far reaching as it takes petroleum completely out of the equation.
That’s because Greenware is made entirely of corn. The cups and lids are thermoformed out of NatureWorks Poly Lactic Acid, a polymer derived from corn starches.
PLA is produced by isolating the starch stored in corn kernels, which is then stored into sugars. During a process of fermentation and separation, the sugars become lactic acid, which is used to create the plastic polylactide.
Unlike petroleum-based plastic, the resources used to make Greenware are 100 per cent renewable. And Greenware breaks down. Under ideal composting conditions, the cups break down completely into entirely natural molecules in only 50 days.
Adrian Briggs of Sunset House and Red Sail Sports knew it was the right move.
‘As a diving base, Sunset has always tried to protect the environment and this fits perfectly,’ he says.
‘Considering the cost, this is a product that every business on the island should be using.’
But he thinks more can be done for Cayman’s environment than changing cup brands.
‘Government itself needs to make an effort to make Cayman a truly green Island,’ he says.
‘For instance, why not reduce tariffs on Greenware? It’s benefiting the Island and reducing its cost will be a fantastic incentive for all the Island’s bars and restaurants.’
Capturing the momentum of the support the first of the Green Solutions products introduced to Cayman is receiving, Island Supply means business. It is teaming up with Greenware and Heineken to create an environmental fund, which will support initiatives to green Cayman.
‘We couldn’t have a better convergence, with Heineken and GreenWare behind us, we hope other businesses will be able to see the value of fostering a sustainable future for Cayman,’ said Mr. Weaver.
With businesses showing this kind of dedication to the future, it looks like Cayman is in for an interesting ride.