Wednesday 6 September 2017. Hurricane Irma passes over the Caribbean region. Sint Maarten gets the full blast. 4 people lose their lives and 91% of the island’s buildings suffer damage. There is massive upheaval to people’s lives, with some inhabitants of the island losing everything and needing clean drinking-water, food and shelter. This is why during the first two months the victims are given supplies of water, food and tarpaulins to protect themselves and their possessions against the elements.
Make St. Maarten strong again
Now that the phase of providing first aid and emergency aid is over, it is time to start rebuilding people’s homes and lives. Hurricane Irma has created an enormous amount of extra waste. This rubbish is everywhere, not only on the waste dumps, but also in the neighborhoods and the natural environment. This is having a significant detrimental impact on the environment, on public health and on residents’ morale, because it’s a daily reminder of the devastating hurricane.
A bag with a purpose
We think it is possible to look at this waste as an opportunity instead of as a problem, both from the point of view of sustainability and from the need to kick-start the reconstruction process. Waste has value and Sint Maarten needs to have a circular economy, something that will also help to secure the future of its tourist industry. Therefore we introduce ‘Beat the Bag’ on Sint Maarten.
Together we have achieved*:
m2 of upcycled textile
hours of social work
number of produced bags
Beat the Bag is a project by the upcycle company VerdraaidGoed
VerdraaidGoed is the partner for upcycling within the business environment. VerdraaidGoed makes worthless material into new products in a way that benefits our society. These waste-innovations make for a circular economy, reduces waste mountains and increases awareness about waste materials.