Putting Plastic in its Place

By Kendall Green
Dec 6, 2018

Candlelight. Cocktails. Whispering palms. There was only one thing missing from last month's panel discussion with Oceanic Global. Plastic. An absence that was every bit as intentional as the selection of crudités circling the event.

Held at Habitas Tulum on November 19th, Habitas founder, plastic free advocate, speaker and musician, Eduardo Castillo joined Oceanic Global to announce his biggest mission yet: eliminating plastic waste.

By partnering with Papaya Playa Project and Emilio Heredia, Habitas has made great strides towards preserving Tulum through sustainable practices. To take it further, Castillo invited Oceanic Global to Habitas to keep the conversation going.

“It has to start with us,” Castillo explained to the audience. “We must provide solutions and change the consciousness of every major party in the world.”

Castillo then introduced panelist, Mauricio Jarvis, who works closely with Habitas to ensure excess food is composted properly without the use of plastic. Jarvis’ company, Woolis Green Solutions, provides Habitas reusable bins for food composting — just one of the many ways Habitas works to eliminate plastic use in the hospitality industry.

While the panel discussion centered on educating and empowering our Habitas family to live plastic free, Castillo’s focus was even broader.

“I wanted to bring my worlds together in what I am most passionate about: Music, experiences and the elimination of plastic in the festival and hospitality industry,” Castillo said.

“I wanted to bring my worlds together in what I am most passionate about: Music, experiences and the elimination of plastic in the festival and hospitality industry,” Castillo said.

To do this, Castillo announced his mission to replace plastic bottled water during Tulum’s 2019 festival season. In collaboration with Water Matters, a Mexican carton water company based out of San Luis Potosi, festival organizers have pledged to replace half a million plastic bottles with Water Matters’ sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative.  

Through a chance encounter with Water Matters, Eduardo pitched co-founder Jose Cadena with the opportunity to bring their product to a wider audience while bringing a more environmentally-conscious mindset to the music industry.

It worked. Orders for as many as 300,000 cartons have already been placed by ZAMNA, one of the largest participating festivals and the first to come on board, while Day Zero Festival, Sound Tulum, Yam, Mutek and Sacbe have pledged their support too.

As he surveyed the audience at the panel discussion, Castillo reflected on his success. “If you want to secure unanimous participation,” he said, “the strategy is simple. Make it an impossible offer to reject by providing the solution yourself.”

It’s clear that Castillo’s presence in the music and hospitality industry provided just the platform he needed to inspire, educate and ignite Tulum’s plastic free movement into uncharted territory.

“Only now with your participation, can we together transform our mission into sustainable reality,” Castillo concluded.

To learn more about how Habitas is working to eliminate plastic use, continue reading below.

How Habitas eliminates plastic use:

Being selective: Working only with vendors who provide sustainable alternatives

Using innovation: Using lemon grass straws or avocado seed straws instead of plastic straws

Creating solutions: Using reusable, washable fabric lining for trash bins and compostable paper towels

Avoiding waste: Refilling shampoo and body wash containers

Finding alternatives: Using reusable bins to compost excess food

Here’s how you can make a difference:

When drinking: Buy a reusable, steel bottle and carry it with you throughout the day. If you do not have access to filtered water, you can buy bottles with built in filters. If you’re drinking wine, only buy bottles with corks!

When shopping: Carry a basket or a linen tote bag with you to the market. Placing produce in individual bags is unnecessary and wasteful.

When eating: Avoid plastic food packaging at home. Instead of using plastic bags or Tupperware, use glass jars/containers to store food.

When traveling/moving around: Invest in a steel straw and reusable cutlery that you can easily fit in your purse or backpack.


Photography: Enrique Abed

Header Image: SOUP: Refused, by Mandy Barker