Before November 2010, there probably was not one home or office in Cayman that did not have several old phone books lying around, but that was before over 37,000 of the books were collected for a unique recycling programme.
The Cayman Islands Yellow Pages launched its Yellow2Green project to turn old phone books into insulation for homes on November 1st and over the next three weeks, the people of Cayman responded in their thousands, filling recycle bins throughout Grand Cayman with more than 37,000 phone books – equating to 50 tons of paper that was kept out of the landfill.
“It’s amazing to witness a country’s spirit of community and responsibility – so many people actively participated in this campaign for a common good. The Cayman Islands are ready for an environmental movement and this is the beginning,” said Eileen Keens, marketing manager of Cayman Islands Yellow Pages.
The programme included the Yellow2Green School Challenge, which invited all primary schools to participate in collecting phone books, with a prize of a pizza party, for the class that collected the most, and up to $1,500 to be awarded to the top three schools. The first place was won by the children of North Side Primary School who collected 21 phone books per student.
“This was a great way to get kids excited about recycling – this is about their future, so it’s critical that they value preservation and grasp the concept of personal responsibility,” said Ms Keens.
The phone books were shipped, by one of Cayman Islands Yellow Pages’ major sponsors, Thompson Line Shipping to Tampa, Florida where they were 100 per cent recycled into GreenFiber insulation, an all-natural, high-quality fibre insulation product used for homes.
GreenFiber, a leading natural fibre manufacturer in the US, has been working with communities across America, and now in the Caribbean, to help keep more than one million tons of paper out of landfills.
Mark Macfee, Executive Vice President of Cayman Islands Yellow Pages, announced that the Yellow2Green programme had been such a success in Cayman that, with the help of sponsors such as LIME, Camana Bay and Thompson Line Shipping, it would be held annually.