SOS Tartarugas works in Cape Verde protecting nesting loggerheads turtles (Caretta caretta) and their habitat. Cape Verde is the third most important nesting area for loggerheads in the world. Turtles are at risk from hunting for meat, stealing of eggs, removal of sand for building and unregulated tourism development. Our email is
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

War is declared on plastic bags on Sal, Cape Verde!

Plastic litters the beaches on Sal
Cape Verde Without Plastic / Cabo Verde sem plástico.

SOS Tartarugas joins the war on plastic bags!  We are proud to have formed a partnership with the Capeverdean NGO, ADAD (read more about ADAD here) who have started a project, funded in part by PRCM, to reduce the amount of plastic bags used in Cape Verde.  Plastic bags are a blight on our landscape here on these beautiful islands, hundreds of them can be seen in the road, on trees, stuck against fences and worst of all, floating around in the sea.

Unfortunately there is very little awareness of the problem amongst the population as well as shop owners and plastic bags are given away for every single small purchase.

A musician watches the proceedings
The answer?  Make cotton bags readily available and sensitise shop owners and shoppers to the problem.  Eventually a tax may be imposed or even a ban may be made on importing plastic bags into Sal.  The City Hall of Sal have also become partners of the project and the mayor recalled a time when bread was collected in cloth bags, not plastic.

Ana Claudia & Ana Sofia give away SOS bags as prizes
"According to the mayor, plastic represents some 11% of all domestic trash produced on Sal. “The worst part is that some of this trash does not end up in the dump. It goes into the sea, into barren plots of land. We have veritable Christmas trees of plastic bags. And that’s where the problem lies. Even the plastic that goes to the dump ends up being bad for the environment, because, as we know, plastic is made out of petroleum and takes 400 years to decompose in nature. Until then, it continues to produce heavy metals that destroy and poison the soil, producing toxic fumes.”  (Read the news report from A Semana here).

SOS participated in ADAD's activities to celebrated Environmental Day with music, prizes and a display of traditionally made bags produced by artisans on different islands.  The materials used included rice sacks, paper & cotton.  Read about the launch of this project here.
Artisans show traditionally made bags

 Television report of the event.

Here on Sal these great cotton bags will be produced by RA-AMAO (Associação das Mulheres da África Ocidental)
a women's association  and SOS have already ordered the first 100.  We will be selling the bags for no-profit to residents and for a small profit to tourists so that we can fund the next production run.  It is fantastic to be able to support an enterprise based on Sal.

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