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Plastic Free Cayman Pirates Week Cleanup

Local News 30 Nov, 2020 Follow News

Hard at work to keep Cayman safe and beautiful

Vials of blood washed onto Cayman’s beaches

Plastic Free Cayman Pirates Week Cleanup

Plastic Free Cayman is a local group of people who have a vision, the vision really is contained in group’s title. They want to see Cayman free from plastic trash, and don’t mind doing whatever they have to do to make that happen, whether its encouraging individuals or companies to reduce, reuse or recycle, or getting out there and picking it up. Following all the stormy weather where many items of trash were washed ashore, the group organised two major cleanup events over the weekend of Saturday 21 November, teaming up with many other groups of people who feel the same way about keeping Cayman clean, safe, and beautiful. Plastic trash takes many decades to break down, and so continues to be a hazard to the natural ecosystem, as it floats in the sea or drifts around the land. Here in Cayman, our seas and reefs and beaches are a treasure we value not only for its own sake but for the fact that many people come here to enjoy the wildlife of Cayman’s shoreline and reefs. It makes sense to care for our environment and save our unique natural heritage for future generations.

Marine animals such as fishes and turtles often mistake plastic items for food, and when they eat them, it can cause sickness or death. Turtles are especially vulnerable, because floating plastic bags look to them just like jellyfish which all turtles love to eat, and birds of many kinds may also ingest plastic items. Even when plastic items begin to disintegrate, they can cause even more damage. One item multiplies, becoming hundreds or thousands of tiny pieces known as micro-plastics, and these are easily enter the food chain.

The clean ups took place on the morning of Saturday 21 November at Consuelo’s Beach, South Sound and also at the South Sound Dock. “The events were well attended and showed immense community support, 117 volunteers in total,” said a member of the group. They all worked very hard, collecting 822 pounds of trash (mostly plastic) which was removed from the beaches which works out at around 7 pounds per volunteer. “As you know, we are coming to the end of a very active hurricane season and our beaches have been severely impacted- with erosion, plastic pollution and even medical debris,” they added.

The event organizer, Ms Carina Ecclefield said, "I think that our beach cleans were hugely successful. We cleaned up South Sound and had fun in the process. Since Tropical storm Eta we have been desperate to get out and pick up the plastic washing up on our beaches and despite a little rain this morning, we were finally able to make it happen! We are thrilled with the turn out and hope to have even more environmental enthusiasts join us in December.

“Sadly, several vials of blood were found again, collected and properly disposed of. We continue to press the government to take direct action regarding single use plastics and the plastic pollution problem. Businesses can also take our 345 pledge, that can be found here: https://plasticfreecayman.com/programming/345pledge/

Plastic Free Cayman’s Pirate’s Week Clean-up was in partnership with Pirates Against Plastic, Jeep345, CUC, 2020TwentyForTwenty, Island Waste, Cayman Creperie, Delaney's Handcrafted, Island Supply and Home Bakery who all helped out.

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