Over 3 tons of plastic picked off local beaches this year

| 30/03/2021 | 17 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): In less than three months, Plastic Free Cayman has removed more than 7,350 pounds, or around 3.7 tons, of debris from beaches around the Cayman Islands, most of it plastic. This means that despite their efforts to raise awareness, plastic pollution is getting worse, and the activists said the next government must implement the long-discussed single-use plastic ban and improve recycling systems. Last Sunday PFC and Protect Our Future joined forces with the Guy Harvey Foundation for their latest volunteer effort and collected another 1,120 pounds of garbage, again mostly plastic.

The huge beach cleaning event was held at Spotter Bay in East End, where 50 pairs of hands removed the small mountain of trash from one of the hardest hit coastlines on Grand Cayman when it come to marine debris.

Sadly, most of the trash collected was not only plastic, but microplastics. Forks, bottle caps, toothbrushes and bits of polystyrene or styrofoam littered the shores, in some places several layers thick. Volunteers again observed how these material are becoming micro-environments for various species on the beach, which are also absorbing these pollutants.

The clean-up coordinator for this event, Sophie McBride, said Spotter Bay was not only covered in washed up bottles and plastic from around the region but home produce waste, such as cans and discarded items from beach barbeques and social gatherings.

“It is devastating to see so much plastic in our oceans and on our beaches; the micro-plastics and Styrofoam we see on our clean ups is heartbreaking,” she said. “People need to understand the negative impact this is having on wildlife and our health. The government needs to step up and make impactful changes and implement more sustainable practices. We hope the new government moves forward to ban plastic bags, straws and single-use takeaway boxes and cutlery. They must invest in the recycling process and upcycling, as much of our waste can be turned into useful items.”

McBride noted that everyone can make a difference in some way. “We can all make at least one small change from not buying a plastic bottle, refusing the plastic bag, straw or making other positive changes to our daily lives. It is everyone’s responsibility,” she said.

She also gave thanks to all those volunteers who are playing their part. “We are so grateful for the volunteers who shared their time and energy to help clean up Cayman’s East End. It was great to see many new faces join us and we are always thankful for our volunteers who join every month,” she said.

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Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Great work, thank you all!

    PS, not all beach thrash is generated locally, much of it is flotsam and jetsam.

  2. Anonymous says:

    And four tons will replace it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great efforts must be applauded. Well done!!!

    However, this is an ever ongoing issue as 99% of this plastic debris on our beaches is the result of it being washed ashore.

    Passing ships and improper waste disposal from other countries result in these items being carried by ocean currents which we have little control over.

    Understanding that this is the root of the problem all we can do is encourage to partake in these cleanups so as to atleast clean up our own ‘backyards’ instead of coming across as Cayman residents throwing gabbage in the sea/waterlands as the biggest culprit.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What about the discarded mask pollution? They are everywhere!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Excellent job and thank you all for your efforts. Let’s all do our part and keep our community clean

  6. Anonymous says:

    Let’s start with honest conversations: there are three main source categories of beach plastic…foreign, domestic, and global fishery. We can only control domestic through bin servicing, recycling, and sensible alternatives. Foreign flotsam from elsewhere will continue to require teams of people to clean it up. The major beach landowner, DART, should really be employing unemployed Caymanians to do this, rather than relying on volunteer youth do-gooders sacrificing their weekend time to do it for the Billionaire. The global fishery part represents 50% of all ocean plastics, and a whole bunch of other sins, including slave albour. We can’t expect Guy Harvey, a fisherman and seafood restaurant owner, to be honest about complicity with that industry, no matter how many beach cleanups his fishing merchandise profit-fueled foundation seeks to take credit for.

  7. Anonymous says:

    We should make 1 day a month a mandatory clean up day for the whole island. Everyone contributes 2 hours on that day. The whole island stops and we just pick up rubbish.

    • Anonymous says:

      We should suspend consideration of all DRCL applications until they hire the personnel required to maintain their property portfolio – that includes flotsam and garbage deposited above the high water mark. It’s already the law.

  8. Topaz says:

    If you want this to change Plastic Fee Cayman you simply have to vote this government OUT You heard what the minister for Rubbish said He is NO Environmentalist. Can’t be made any clearer than that. Easter is Here Campers please pick up your friggin Shit when you leave. Thnx

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.
      I pick up from the area around where I live & it is mostly local waste (thrown from cars & by walkers/joggers). On the water front is cans/bottles/plastic washing ashore & a lot if it gas not been in the water long by the looks of it, as labels still attached & legible.

    • Beach Cleaner says:

      Maybe they could pick up their shit all year because I sure get sick of doing it for them in my neighbourhood.

    • Anonymous says:

      The plastic on our beaches is mostly from Haiti not sure what that has to do with our government.

      • Anonymous says:

        I walk my dogs on the beaches for 15 years. The last decade there has been mountains of plastic washing ashore and piling up. Truly heartbreaking. I used to think it was from Haiti too until Covid and the border ban. Simple fact is 98% less plastic washing up on South Coast beaches ever since cruise ships stopped coming. The beaches I walk are clean again.

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