Activists clear over 800lbs of beach plastic

| 23/11/2020 | 33 Comments

(CNS): Volunteers and activists from Plastic Free Cayman held two major clean-up events on Saturday at beaches in South Sound, where they collected around 822lbs of rubbish, most of which was plastic. Vials of blood were also found among the debris, and while this is not uncommon, the growing challenges countries in the region face deposing of medical waste is being increasingly felt on local beaches.

Following an active hurricane season and a period of unsettled weather and storm action around Cayman, beaches have been hit with huge amounts of debris washing up from all over the Caribbean. Activists noted that microplastics, which pose the worst threat to marine life and the broader environment, make up a significant part of the garbage.

This latest haul was collected by 117 volunteers from Consuelo’s Beach and at the South Sound Dock. Event organiser Carina Ecclefield said the clean-up was a huge success.

“Since Tropical Storm Eta we have been desperate to get out and pick up the plastic washing up on our beaches,” she said. “We are thrilled with the turnout and hope to have even more environmental enthusiasts join us in December.”

Ecclefield noted that the medical waste that was picked up was properly disposed of. There has been mounting concern on social media about the vials and other medical waste, which, although it has always been in the debris that washes up on to local shores, is clearly becoming more noticeable, as is the case the world over.

“This is becoming more common as countries continue to struggle to implement proper waste management system,” the activists warned.

While Cayman can do very little about the garbage that arrives here from elsewhere, it can control the use of plastic and the management of debris here. Plastic Cayman continues to press the government to take direct action regarding single-use plastics and the plastic pollution problem. However, plans by government to phase in a ban on certain single-use plastics, which was under consideration to commence in the New Year, appears to have been shelved.

Meanwhile, with no government action on the matter in the foreseeable future, local businesses are urged to take The 345 Pledge and phase out single-use plastics themselves.

The latest cleanup organised by Plastic Free Cayman for Pirate’s Week was in partnership with Pirates Against Plastic, Jeep345, CUC, Island Waste, Cayman Creperie, Delaney’s Handcrafted, Island Supply, Home Bakery and 2020TwentyForTwenty.

Take the 345 Pledge to live a more plastic-free life.

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Category: Science & Nature

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oddly my blood samples went missing last week, that were supposed to be sent to the US, strange coincidence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Contact Ministry of Health and report it. Write down the name of the person you reported to.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Time to ban blood vials and syringes

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Nicaragua/Honduras for your crap.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sadly this mostly comes from neighboring large countries and with all the recent devastating storms, we probably will have more washing up to deal with. Sad reality of mankind’s trashing our planet.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It is shocking that medical waste is being found on beaches, I mean REALLY SHOCKING!

    Yet Ministry of Health is going to investigate and report the findings of its investigation in due course!
    Is Ministry of Health is qualified to investigate this matter?

    Improper disposal of medical waste is illegal. But who is monitoring? What Ministry, Department or Agency has a duty to monitor it? Why is being paid monthly to make sure medical waste is disposed properly.

    Are there laws that warrant investigation by RCIPS or other agencies which would do it swiftly, efficiently and professionally?

    Do you want COVID-20 originate in The Cayman Islands while it is hiding from COVID-19?

  6. Anonymous says:

    based on the recent photos of disappearing SMB, pretty soon there won’t be any left.

  7. Anonymous says:

    to be deposited inland on our already humongous toxic mount trashmore :)))))

    I find these cleanups pointless if the gathered material isn’t shipped off island to be recycled and instead just done to feel good, snap some pics and then make a garbage truck pick it up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope. Cleanups are not pointless.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please explain to me how taking garbage from a self-replenishing, seemingly endless source and depositing it inland on a small island’s landfill that is bursting at its seams has any valid point other than good PR for corporate.

        • Anonymous says:

          Because leaving garbage piled in your yard is low class and nasty. Even if it came from someone else.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m not saying don’t clean up prime beach areas heavily used by tourists and locals alike.

            But cleaning up a non-used rocky beach in the middle of Queen’s highway is a complete waste of landfill space. The plastic will just wash back up with the next bit of bad weather.

            The “taking plastic out of the food chain” argument is dumb too considering we might be able to store 0.0000001% of the total plastic in the ocean.

            • Anonymous says:

              I think it’s pretty obvious who is making dumb assertions, with made up statistics to prove the point.

              • Anonymous says:

                I think it’s pretty obvious you don’t want the futility of your efforts aired out.

                There’s an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean. Tell me where tf you’d put a fraction of a percent of that in Cayman.

            • Anonymous says:

              The last time I cleaned up a beach with the kids the trash wasn’t washed ashore it was clearly from a party. Presumably a bunch of selfish, low IQ losers just like you.

            • Anonymous says:

              I gather you got criticized at the office for missing beach clean-up day and are practicing your excuses.

        • Anonymous says:

          Because the less there is on the beach the less there is to get broken down and enter the food chain. I can’t believe any miserable, ignorant individual thinks picking up trash is a waste of time. Unbelievable.

        • Anonymous says:

          Just because it’s not a perfect solution, does not mean the endeavours are fruitless. Do you leave trash around your yard since it doesn’t matter in the end, it just ends up at the dump? Give me a break, grow some personal responsibility.

      • Anonymous says:

        If cleanups are pointless may we should just start throwing garbage wherever we feel like?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would anyone downvote 2:22 comment?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Is there any way to determine where this medical waste is coming from.

    • Anonymous says:

      True. Somebody need to own up or a conglomerate of others to assist them in proper disposal methods.

      If COVID hasn’t taught in the world to work together, nothing will!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Some vials still have intact labels attached. So it came from a local source. Not too many laboratories in Grand Cayman therefore it shouldn’t be hard to track it down.

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