Over 30 tonnes of plastic rolls on to regional beach

| 23/07/2018 | 37 Comments
Cayman News Service

Deluge of plastic on the beaches of The Dominican Republic, July 2018

(CNS): Local workers, volunteers and activists collected 30 tonnes of plastic waste in just three days from beaches in the Dominican Republic last week, following stormy weather in the area that washed the plastic through the Caribbean Sea onto the shore.  Shocking video footage released by international conservationist group Parley showed waves and waves of plastic debris washing up on Montesinos Beach in Santo Domingo. Activists have been working with the military and the city council as well as more than 500 public workers to clear up the massive influx of  bottles, shoes and takeout boxes mixed with seaweed.

Despite collecting a jaw-dropping thirty tonnes in such a short time, Parley believes there is still a large amount of work to be done to clear all the waste.

Parley said it is transforming the collected marine plastic into recycled consumer products as a way to bring focus to their cause of reducing plastic waste. They described the dense garbage carpet rippling in the surf as an “apocalyptic scene” symptomatic of the global disposable plastic culture.

“Seeing this firsthand is absolutely shocking, but what’s worse is that this is not news in Santo Domingo,” said Parley’s Carmen Danae Chamorro. “This situation happens every time it rains heavily. That’s why it’s important to shine a light on what has been ignored.”

The group is working to recycle what it can but so far only six of the 30+ tonnes has been recovered to be transformed into recyled Ocean Plastic®, which they describe as “a premium material used to create products that act as symbols of change and fund the battle against marine plastic pollution”. The rest will be going into a landfill.

The activists are increasingly concerned that there is no real circular economic solution for plastic because of the nature of the material, which even when reused and recycled continues to leach toxic chemicals.

Visit the Parley website on ocean plastic

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Category: Caribbean, environmental health, Health, World News

Comments (37)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I just cannot believe it has taken people so long to wake up to this. 30 years ago I was in Svalbard (that’s inside the Arctic circle roughly midway between continental Norway and the North Pole) and back then we were finding piles of plastic rubbish washed up on the shore there. That wasn’t household waste – most of it had probably been thrown overboard from the fishing fleets that work the area.

    On the way there we’d stopped off at Jan Mayen and trekked over to Kvalrossbukta to find the beautiful black beach there was also strewn with rubbish.

    To read some of these stories you’d amost think this is a new phenomenon (or these events are new phenomena if you like) but it’s a problem that’s quietly been building up for decades and you can pretty much gurantee that, like an oil spill, it’s going to take a heck of a lot longer to clean it up than it took to create it.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Haiti!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    surprised no-one here is calling out the real culprit next door to dr….a place with zero regard to the environment.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    The people who think that a small island ( Cayman Islands) can impact the climate change are delusional at best. We dont generate that much plastic on any part of 7 mile beach, ever. Could it be plastic from Dominican Republic and Haiti?
    At Anon 1;36. What environmentalists are doing is stopping land owners who own swampland in the Central Mangrove from selling to developers. They are offering to buy it at their convenience at very, very low prices. So, no the locals are right, even if we make all of the Cayman Islands 100% Mangrove Swamp, it wouldn’t mean diddily. No one who is selling cares what you do with it. Just buy it at a reasonable price. Been saying this for over 10 years. Sent an email to nominate property for over 6 years haven’t heard a peep. No one from this group has offered to buy. Still waiting??? Sooooooooo?

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is the dumbest comment so far.
      CNS,
      It is astonishing to see that people have no slightest idea about marine plastic pollution.
      May be marine pollution for dummies is in order? Otherwise you are wasting your time. It seems to fall on death ears.

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      • Anonymous says:

        it is the mantra of the caycompass….. ‘we are so small, we can’t make a difference…etc’…….zzzzz
        imagine if every small nation, town, county in the world took that attitude?

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    • Anonymous says:

      for once…why doesn’t cayman be proactive and take the initiative…?
      instead sitting on their hands do nothing with their backward small town mentality….

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      • Anonymous says:

        Because they’re scared of not having money. That’s why. Same reason they let dart and ms JD bulldoze the island. Scared.

  5. Elvis says:

    Instead of using inmates why don’t you idiots who choose to throw litter into the ocean or leave it on beaches actually make an effort and do the right thing?
    Fines on the spot of 1,000 ci May make them think twice, I walk the beaches and look in the bush just off the beach, it’s full of diapers, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, make shift tents and overhead coverings, it’s not tourists that’s for sure, take responsibility caymanian youth

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    • Anonymous says:

      But that’s the point, they grew up in garbage in so they don’t care and they throw their garbage out their window. I see it daily and I’ve never heard of one person getting a ticket.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I can assure you that much of the trash I have collected along South Sound beach is foreign however (you can tell since none of the items are sold here in Cayman or the US), all the teeny bits of Styrofoam? Yeah, all from here.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    but the compass and locals say small countries can’t do anything to tackle environmental problems……so who cares….

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  8. Anonymous says:

    I read somewhere that the inmates were doing community service? What kind of community service? It wasn’t picking up trash. Can anyone explain to me why the people that get away with just a fine aren’t also given community service like picking up trash off our beach too? Stories like this remind me that the criminals get off too easy here. Whether it’s petty crime or not!

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    • Anonymous says:

      WE are not inmates, we are guests of her Britannic Majesty. Guests are greatly offended and would not tolerate any additional responsibilities added. We demand only the best. I suggest you pull on your wellies and get busy with a roll of bags, do keep me updated in a timely fashion. Cheers!

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    • Anonymous says:

      For over 10 years now I have been saying they should be sent out to clean ALL beaches around ALL the island ALL year round. They should be on the beaches first light each day and back at the prison by 9.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s a little cruel and unusual. I agree they should be out 5 days a week but normal work hours would suffice. We aren’t in North Korea thank god.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Based on the comments to this and other youtube video (s), people are cluelsess where it is coming from, blaming DR people. They have no idea what ocean currents are and how Plastic from China or India ends up in the pacific vortex.
    Still, media is silent on the efforts of Boyan Slat. I don’t understand why.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Mind boggling.

    I kept all my plastic for a year – the 4,490 items forced me to rethink https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/17/i-kept-all-my-plastic-year-4490-items-forced-rethink

    Supporting the one and only The Ocean cleanup company is not an option anymore. It is a matter of survival of the planet. https://www.theoceancleanup.com/

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  11. Green Man says:

    It can’t be said,

    MAN IS DESTROYING THE EARTH !

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  12. Anonymous says:

    i wonder how much is winding up in our dinner plate??? fish eat plastic.. we eat fish….uhhhghh…yuck…..even microscopic particles…we destrying eart and ourselves along with it! sad????????????

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  13. Anonymous says:

    “following stormy weather in the area that washed the plastic through the Caribbean Sea onto the shore.”

    I call BS. I bet that the vast majority if not all of this trash originated in the DR.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    And here we are nailing garbage to a tree on the edge of the sea as decoration!! Take the shoe tree down now before a hurricane does and all the garbage ends up in the sea!! It is an eyesore as well as an environmental hazard!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      All the trash and litter on the streets and our beaches; all the attitudes that need to change here and all you can find to complain about is slippers nailed to trees – get a life!

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