Activists call for dedicated plastic clean-up

| 20/06/2022 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service
Plastic removed from Cayman beaches

(CNS): Volunteers on all three Cayman Islands have collected more than 76,000 pounds of trash, mostly plastic, during 80 beach and mangrove clean-up events over the last five years, and now Plastic Free Cayman is calling on government to start employing people to regularly clean up the beaches. The non-profit group, which also lobbies for a ban on single-use plastics, said the Cayman Islands must try to limit the dangerous microplastics entering the marine environment.

The significant amount of plastic that washes up on Cayman’s beaches and around mangroves, exacerbated by the amount discarded locally, was illustrated by the 1,000lbs of trash removed from the coastline around Safehaven over the last month alone, with 630lbs collected just this weekend.

Volunteers collected trash that had washed ashore from Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, but the activists said it was very clear that local litter is still a major issue and there is very little enforcement of Cayman’s anti-litter law. The organisers said two of the most common trash items found in the area just across from the Golf Club were beer bottles and condoms.

“This calls into question the need for a government-based clean-up initiative that could employ workers to maintain the health and safety of our local beaches,” a spokesperson for the local environmental group said. “Even with much of the focus centred on cleaning the mangrove areas, there still remains many microplastics throughout this ecosystem. In fact, crabs, worms and small fish are ingesting these plastics and even making them part of their habitats.”

This Father’s Day weekend was the third clean-up in this area over the last month and the 80th event PFC has hosted since its inception. The activists have already picked up more than 5,000lbs of trash from the coastline so far this year.

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Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Nothing will ever happen, all you have to see are the derelict cars in the alley next to the WB police station. Must take a huge effort to track those owners down, like typing the Licence number into your computer.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Plastic Free Cayman is calling on government to start employing people to regularly clean up the beaches. Here is the case setting forth that Crown is legally bound to keep the Crown-owned foreshore area free of litter:
    I make the case citing provisions contained in the Litter Law (1997 Revision)
    Taking into account the following definitions set forth in the law:
    –“litter” means anything whatsoever, including dust, dirt, oddments, leavings, waste paper, cigarette ends, bottles (whether empty or not), derelict vehicles and any dead animal or carrion;

    –“premises” means land, other than any buildings thereon, whether vested in the Crown or not, and includes natural watercourses and drains.”

    **Note that “premises” INCLUDES Crown land!

    And citing 6, subsections (1) (2) (3):
    “Officer shall enforce removal of litter
    6. (1) Without prejudice to any proceedings for an offence committed under section 4 or under any other law, where litter is left or caused to be kept in or on any premises in such circumstances as to cause, contribute to or tend to the defacement thereof by such litter an officer shall give notice, either orally or in writing, to the person so leaving or causing the same to be left or to the owner or occupier of such premises requiring him forthwith in the case of dead animals, carrion or other litter considered by the officer to be dangerous to health or life, and, in any other case, within such time as may be limited by the notice, not being less than three days, to remove the litter so as to restore the premises to a condition satisfactory to him.
    (2) A notice in writing may be served on a person either personally or by being sent by post to his last known business or private address, or it may be posted up in some conspicuous position on the premises on which the litter has been left.
    (3) Whoever fails to comply with the requirements of a notice under
    subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of five hundred dollars and to a further fine of one hundred dollars for every day during which the failure is continued after conviction, and an officer may, without prejudice to proceedings for an offence in respect of such failure, enter the premises and remove the litter so left or caused to be left and may recover summarily as a civil debt from the person in default the expenses reasonably incurred in so doing.”

    I shall proffer that:
    i. Most if not all of the foreshore areas below the mean high water mark which are scattered with litter are Crown land (or “premises” per the definition in the law).
    2. Litter allowed by Crown to collect and remain on such premises–Per 6 (1)–“tend(s) to the defacement thereof”,
    3. Per 6 (2):
    Notice should be given Crown to remove the litter and to keep their premises free of litter. Failure to remediate the issue withing the prescribed time frame after notice is given constitutes an offence under the law.
    4. Crown failing to do what is required–per 6 (3): “…an officer may,without prejudice to proceedings for an offence in respect of such failure, enter the premises and remove the litter so left or caused to be left and may recover summarily as a civil debt from the person in default the expenses reasonably incurred in so doing.”
    Therefore, I recommend that the DEH should do their duty and give the relevant Crown department notice to remediate the litter defacement. Failure to do so will result in DEH placing cleanup crews on Crown foreshore premises to remove the litter and DEH should charge Crown accordingly.
    Likewise, it is the responsibility of the private owners of litter-strewn areas above the Crown-owned foreshore to remedy their litter problem. Private owners should be given notice and if they fail to comply, it will result in DEH placing cleanup crews on their premises to remove the litter and DEH should charge the owner accordingly.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Volunteers collected trash that had washed ashore from Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic”—
    Verryy clever of those trash dumpers to put country of origin labels on their garbage! Did the volunteers pass up on trash from other countries?

    “The organisers said two of the most common trash items found in the area just across from the Golf Club were beer bottles and condoms.”—
    Woww! Sounds like dem Rum Pointers really know how to party!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ignorant comment. Some plastic flotsam has brand names still visible, embossed markings and sometimes but not often labels still attached. The other garbage found with it is likely to have travelled on the same currents from the same place. Other garbage is country specific like the water pouches they use in Haiti and which we pick up in the thousands here.

      • Anonymous says:

        You totally missed the point. Having said that, regardless of comedic intent, I never put [sarc] in my comments because that is perceived by most reasonably intelligent people. I would go into further depth but it is not possible to educate out absence of discernment and lack of a sense of humour. I deem [sarc] to be a caveat for the benefit of the slow class.
        But ya hafta agree: Them Rum Pointers sure know how to party! [sarc]

        • Anonymous says:

          I have no clue what you’re trying to say. Maybe try and communicate with more clarity.

          • Anonymous says:

            You could have ended your comment after the first four words. I could have ended the comment to which you replied (being at @10:21), after the first five words. [sarc]

  4. Anonymous says:

    Based on the condition of the roadsides, you have to conclude that a lot of the beach trash was created locally.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This article didn’t mention the source of most of this plastic, which of course are the companies who use it for the packaging of their products. One of the worst sources of plastic trash is styrofoam, which I believe is manufactured by our friend Mister Dart, if I remember correctly. He must have profited very well from it. They say he is a billionaire now. How about that?
    I also read somewhere that some of the intelligent countries barred the use of disposable plastics. Great idea! Why do you suppose that the Cayman Islands did not? No wonder our beaches are covered in plastic.
    I don’t believe Mr. Dart has anything to do with the sargassum we are being covered with in large areas…….. but one never knows, does one.

    • Anonymous says:

      One would appear to be about 10 years behind in one’s attempt to sound intelligent. One might want to check one’s google and try again.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know a silly billy when I see one.

    • Anonymous says:

      DART are the largest absentee landowner in the Cayman Islands. They have controlled and now own the 220 acres at the former Safehaven property (now Dragon Bay) for many years and do not honour their commitments to CIG or their covenants to tenants, and duties to the public. CIG should rescind that part of the NRA Agreement for non-performance, and revert title back to the Crown. CIG needs to take a page from DART’s own bully handbook, and issue them 30 days notice to cure or quit. Nice as the gesture is, Plastic Free Cayman should not be relied upon to regularly organise 1000 lb DART property clean ups for billionaire developers. Not only should DART hire the missing teams to clean and maintain their property to the prescribed standard, but they should also volunteer to clean crown lands to fill the performance hole in their corporate social responsibility to the community. If they can’t see the sense in that, CIG should take them to court.

    • Anonymous says:

      The worse source of the plastics in our ocean and beaches are shithole countries like Haiti. Virtually NONE of the plastics in our water and beaches are from here and 0% is from Dart.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a blistering moronic comment

  6. Anonymous says:

    The government shouldn’t waste any money on paying to clear up the beaches. Make it part of prisoner community service.

  7. Anonymous says:

    In my latter years my opinion for beach cleanup has changed because of the diversity and conflicts about public spaces on these beaches.I do not volunteer anymore.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Stipend recipients?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Nice job for travel cayman employees

  10. Anonymous says:

    Won’t have to worry about the condoms once the single use plastics ban is in effect at least.

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting take and food for thought.
      Condoms are usually considered single use. I suppose some environmental activists somewhere have figured out how to reuse them as there is nothing new under the sun. But not all are plastic.
      Perhaps we educate the public how to reuse/recycle?
      Will require special biohazard recycling bins as the likkle raincoats cannot go into regular recycling bins.
      My brain is hurting, I think I will stop at that, so…
      I think we got things covered. That’s a wrap!

  11. Anonymous says:

    What about community service. Why on earth is there not people who have been caught breaking the law sentenced to community service with a fine as well? They would clean up everywhere for free.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Whilst cleaning our beaches is great, and strangely satisfying, it barely scratches the surface. The issue is the source and for us that is Haiti. Until there is an international effort to help/force Haiti to dispose of it’s garbage better the problem will only get worse and worse.

    The UK has a GBP15bn overseas aid budget for EXACTLY this sort of initiative! Governor Roper?

    • Anonymous says:

      So true, but include all the other overpopulated islands to windward. It is definitely satisfying to pick up beach trash and then see it all clean on your next pass.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of time.. particularly the cleanups out in the middle of no-where. I can understand public beaches.

    It just washes back up within a month, the plastic is not recycled and majority of the time, just put into plastic garbage bags which are sent to an already at-capacity landfill.

  14. Anonymous says:

    If wild animals left this kind of mess, there would be a cull, quicker than you could say, “a lot of humans are filthy disgusting creatures.”

  15. Anonymous says:

    Private land owners, above high water mark, already have obligations to attend, clean and maintain their land portfolio under the Lands Law. These aren’t necessarily public parklands, and these kids shouldn’t be clearing or even trespassing on privately owned land without permission. At Lands & Survey, they might find some commonality in the ownership. The main developer landowner doesn’t employ anywhere near the number of people necessary to service their land. They shouldn’t be allowed to acquire any more of it, in any name until they do.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Picking up plastic on the beaches would be a great full time employment opportunity for all of the travel cayman employees.

  17. Elvis says:

    Not only does hundreds of pounds of plastic wash up on your beaches but hundreds of ignorant people also leave crap on their beaches. Ive seen everything from food containers, beer bottles. Used diapers to used condoms. No regard for littering whatsoever. Massive fines should work and education people. Oh wait

  18. Anonymous says:

    Govt already hires ppl to clean up public beaches and parks.

    Are they suggesting that Govt should now clean up private property?

    3 clean ups of Safehaven?? Who owns Safehaven and the golf course?

    • Anonymous says:

      Better question, who litters it with beer bottles and rubbers?

    • Anonymous says:

      I have never seen any government worker walking around cleaning up the trash that is littered around a public beach or public dock, in the parking lots, on the ironshore, washed up on the sand or in the trees.

      Government hires people to empty trash cans in public areas. This about the trash that never gets there.

      • Anonymous says:

        Safehaven, now Dragon Bay, has not been Crown Land for at least 11 years. The billionaire landowner shirks many obligations including routine and covenent-required upkeep, and hasn’t honoured their part of the NRA Agreement. There should be fleets of DART estate vehicles, and uniformed workers, considering the scale of their holdings now. Where are those jobs? Should the volunteers of Plastic Free Cayman be doing their regular maintenance work?

    • Anonymous says:



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