Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

Ghost gear and ghost nets — abandoned and lost fishing gear — kill and injure marine animals, smother coral reefs, pollute shorelines and damage boats. But the Sandals Foundation, working with the Netherlands’ AFC Ajax football club, has a new program to turn ghost nets into soccer nets, linked to its just opened 16th resort called Sandals Royal Curaçao.

Ghost gear is an increasing problem

According to the Plastic Soup Foundation, the world’s ghost gear problem is getting worse. In addition to more commercial fishing, the composition of fishing gear has changed since the 1960s. What used to be made largely of natural rope is now made mostly of nylon, a plastic that does not decompose. Fishing gear pollution is injuring and killing hundreds of millions of marine animals every year. Ghost gear makes up a large portion of the “plastic soup” that floats around the world’s oceans causing problems.

Many organizations, such as the Olive Ridley Project and the veterinarians at its turtle rescue center on the Maldives resort island of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu work to rehabilitate turtles after they’ve been injured by ghost gear. Cleaning up ghost gear around the world would make a massive difference.

Sandals Foundation’s Future Goals program

The Sandals Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts, which has 16 luxury all-inclusive Caribbean resorts for adults plus three geared for families. The Foundation has educational, community and environmental initiatives to support development and conservation on the islands where their resorts are located.

Future Goals is the Sandals Foundation’s new program to turn ghost gear into soccer — called football in the Caribbean — nets for local children and youth. Begun on the island of Curaçao, the program is gearing up to expand to other islands and taking into account the situation particular to those nations.

The Foundation is working with AFC Ajax, the professional football club from the Netherlands (Curaçao is a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands) and with Limpi, a plastic recycling company in Curaçao. Limpi takes abandoned gear and plastic waste and recycles it to create soccer nets — even the goals’ net clips are made from recycled plastic bottles.

New Sandals Royal Curaçao

The new program is the 2022 World Oceans Day focus for Sandals Resorts because of the brand new Sandals Royal Curaçao, which officially opened on June 1, 2022. It’s Sandals’ 16th Caribbean resort.

The 351-key resort in Curaçao faces westward for spectacular sunsets along its 1,500-foot-long white sand beach. On top of regular Sandals’ activities and amenities, the resort has Sandals’ first two-level infinity pool plus you can borrow a Dutch bike to explore parts of the 3,000-acre estate.

Choose your room based on the the type of view you’d prefer, space, features like a soaking tub, and services like butlers. The Awa seaside bungalows have a private pool overlooking the sea and the Kurason island suites surround a heart-shaped lagoon pool, plus there are swim-up suites, beachfront suites and more.

Included are entertainment, a wide variety of land and water sports (even scuba diving), plus, for some room categories, a convertible MINI Cooper to explore the island. In-room and public area wifi, airport transfers, tips and gratuities are also included, as is Sandals’ 5-Star Global Gourmet program.

Sandals is well known for its excellent attention to food and drinks (and to anyone with special dietary requirements) and the new Sandals Royal Curaçao has 13 bars, three beachside food trucks, plus eight restaurants. Several are — so far — only available at Sandals’ Curaçao resort. Don’t miss the sweet Dutch stroopwafels and poffertjes and the Curaçaon cuisine from the Toteki food truck.

Plus, through Sandals’ new Island Inclusive off-site dining program, certain bookings receive a $250 US voucher to use at one of eight local restaurants so you can learn more about the island of Curaçao and support its local dining. And Sandals includes roundtrip transfer to that restaurant too.

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