According to data from the Municipality of Panama, around 2,500 tons of waste are generated in the country daily, of which less than 5% is recycled, and that approximately 300 tons of waste reach the sea every day from rivers, streams and of the sewer system.
According to these figures and studies by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), they place Panama as the second country in Latin America with the highest production of waste per inhabitant per day.
For this reason, the second pillar of action of our organization seeks to educate and sensitize citizens that no matter how much effort we make cleaning rivers and beaches, if we do not learn to recycle and manage waste well, the problem will continue to grow every day, until converting our isthmus into a large garbage dump.
With the support of the Audubon society of Panama and its Aulas Verdes program, we are implementing an education campaign in the State of Israel and Carlos A. Mendoza primary schools, located in the middle basin of the Matías Hernández river. Environmental educators visit schools once or twice a week giving talks on various environmental issues and doing pedagogical tours, seeking to raise awareness in these children about their environment and the importance of keeping it clean for their well-being. In this way, they are motivated to become actors of change, thus creating a cleaner future for our country. The plan is to expand these visits to other schools and also involve parents in this awareness process.
During 2018 and 2019, 807 5th and 6th grade children from both schools were educated, and the program continues during 2020.
Supporting Recycling Projects
As part of the education process, Marea Verde also collaborates with Costa Recicla to advise different PHs and neighbors in Costa del Este, in the implementation of “Clean Points”. This is an initiative of some PHs to receive, from their residents, recyclable materials such as plastic, glass, metal, paper, cardboard, and tetra pak, which are then collected by a collection company specialized in handling recyclables materials.