Bottles returned to Cayman Islands Brewery are cleaned and repurposed for another batch of beer.

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute has partnered with the Cayman Islands Brewery to promote a “Zero Impact” on local coral reefs initiative.

For every case of Cayman Islands Brewery bottles returned to the brewery in January, the brewery will donate $2 to CCMI to support coral reef conservation.

James Mansfield, commercial manager of the Cayman Islands Brewery, said the brewery is eager to work with CCMI in the “International Year of the Reef.”

“We are seeing lowered rates of bottle returns now that recycling bins have popped up around the island,” said Mr. Mansfield in a press release.

“Customers think the bottles are coming back to us, when in fact they are not. They end up in the landfill or crushed. We want to drive our current 40 percent return rate up to 60 percent and higher with this initiative, moving toward the idea that our bottles have zero impact on coral reefs and [the] environment in general.”

Cayman Islands Brewery, which produces Caybrew and White Tip beers, has traditionally offered customers a $2 incentive to return the company’s bottles to the brewery, but adding the donation to CCMI is an effort to support conservation of the local environment.

Bottles returned to the brewery undergo washing and sanitizing and are then refilled for later use. The process reduces the amount of glass bottles imported by the company, which means that it reduces waste going to the landfill and reduces carbon emissions associated with shipping.

Carrie Manfrino, CCMI’s director, president and director of research and conservation, issued an official statement about the agency’s partnership with the Cayman Islands Brewery.

“It is no secret that the Cayman Islands Brewery cares about the environment; they have generously donated funds from the direct sales of their White Tip Lager to shark research and conservation efforts. CCMI is pleased that they are extending their conservation efforts to include coral reef conservation in this very special International Year of the Reef,” Ms. Manfrino said.

“Community partners, like CIB, are essential to science-based efforts aimed at finding new, innovative solutions to declining coral reefs. Reducing waste by recycling bottles has an enormous positive impact on our environment. We want everyone in the Cayman Islands to get on board with our [International Year of the Reef] campaign to recycle and have zero impact on our reefs.”

Brewery customers who are interested in participating can simply drop off cases of their empty and rinsed-out bottles to the brewery on Shamrock Road during regular business hours.

At the end of January, CCMI will receive a matching donation from the brewery, which has also pledged to donate $2 for every case returned to the marine institute in April, June and November.

Customers may also choose to donate their $2 return incentive directly to CCMI. All donations will support the Zero Impact initiative at the Little Cayman Research Station.

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