Six business establishment including a youth organization in Palau received the Environmental Stewardship Award 2018 for their efforts in helping reduce plastic usage.

Among the companies and groups recognized by the Earth Day Committee in Palau were the Surangel and Sons, Shawarma Corner, Sam’s Tours, Ngara Ekil Women’s Association (Ngardmau), L’Amarena and the Heirs to Our Ocean (Palau Mission Academy Chapter) during the awarding ceremony on May 3 at the Koror State Assembly Hall.

Surangel and Sons had been recognized by the committee and its partners for the company’s initiative to impose a $0.10 off for every reusable bag brought by a customer when shopping to their center and it had also initiated to implement a no plastic bag day every Sunday since April 22.

The Shawarma Corner, on the other hand, had been awarded for also implementing $1 off every purchase if the customer brings reusable container. Aside from that, it has also served customers by utilizing eco-friendly containers.

Sam’s Tours also joined the other establishments by providing plastic free tours to their clients by handing out reusable drink containers and reusable bento boxes while the Ngara Ekil Women’s Association (Ngardmau) was also awarded for doing catering services without using plastics. The L’Amarena, an icecream shop in Palau, was also praised for its efforts in helping ease plastic pollution by using only eco-friendly containers.

Heirs to Our Oceans – Palau Mission Academy Chapter, a youth group in Palau, had also been awarded for its campaign against reducing plastic pollution particularly the holding of two film screenings titled “A Plastic Ocean” last year and for providing comments and suggestions for the Plastic Bag Ban bill, among others.

Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB) Executive Director Roxanne Blessam, in her speech during the awarding ceremony, said that they appreciate the efforts initiated by the different entities during the Earth Week celebration in Palau but they are also challenging them to continue their efforts to end plastic pollution in Palau.

“This is really a great start and if we keep on working and supporting each other, we can really minimize our use of plastics in Palau,” Blessam said.

According to Blessam, the business establishments’ participation was one of the highlights of the Earth Week celebration this year.

Palau, for the first time, had dedicated an entire week to conduct activities related to the Earth day from April 16 to 22. (Rhealyn C. Pojas/Reporter)