Time to enact the Abatement of Litter Act?

by Brian JM Joseph 

Now that carnival and all the activities that go along with it have come and gone, what do we do and how do we handle the amount of garbage that’s left dumped all over our beaches and waterways?

Our beaches, recreational parks and sidewalks have become a dumping ground for excessive garbage left behind by revellers who took part in Spicemas 2018.

This kind of repulsive behaviour, dumping of personal effects in the public domain is atrocious and unsavoury. Our people need to be more responsible and put their garbage in a bin. Littering is not a healthy practice and all I can say; it’s a sight for sore eyes. When individuals litter by throwing garbage all over the place especially at activities where people come together in having fun and pleasure, it creates an unpleasant environment.

I was rather appalled by this off-putting sight at exit areas in the botanical gardens on Wednesday morning after carnival; more garbage that was left behind by revellers littered the manicured lawn – that was just absurd.

What’s really going on with our people and how did we become so ill-natured and obnoxious?

What happened to the phrase “charity begins at home before it goes abroad.”

We have forgotten all the good values and principles that we were taught as children at home and in school. I can vividly remember this old school song that was usually sung on a daily basis “bits of paper, bits of paper laying on the floor, make the school untidy, pick them up.”

Core values today have been thrown out the back door along with the bathwater because we’re losing our sanity when it comes to cleanliness, and in keeping our environment clean.

Every year after carnival revellers dumped their personal belongings, mainly clothing that was used to play (Jab Jab) and it normally ends up in our waterways and beaches. This is a distasteful practice, and it tells a lot about our people and their disgusting behaviours.

Hundreds if not thousands gathered at our nation’s beaches to wash and rid themselves of the motor oil that they usually paint themselves with to play (Jab Jab). This is a very unhealthy practice, and health care professionals have warned revellers about using such oils on their bodies.

Yet they continue to do so year after year, not heeding the necessary precautions.

The motor oil is then washed off in rivers and beaches by those revellers. This can have a serious environmental impact on our environment. It can affect marine life.

I know many will say it’s just a little bit of motor oil and how can it harm our marine life, but the truth is, it does, and it’s called ecosystem degradation.

Fishes need to breathe, and every so often they come up to get fresh air. What do we think will happen when they do? Oil gets stuck in their gills, and they will suffocate. Human activity has had profound negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems.

All those clothing and plastics can get entangled on coral reefs and can also end up in stomachs of fish which can literally kill fish and destroy marine life.

If we cared much about our environment, we wouldn’t be engaging in such dangerous practices of environmental degradation of which water pollution falls under. Marine and freshwater ecosystem are essential for food and water, but today they’re threatened by pollution.

Returning nationals and Grenadians alike ought to know better because littering is an offence in any country around the world especially in Canada, USA and Great Britain and elsewhere.

I will like to encourage individuals to support the Grenada Green Group who are advocates for our environment they have been trying to get the word out on the harmful effects that littering is having on our environment.

As their tagline states “working to keep Grenada clean and green,” can we as a people follow along that path and keep Grenada clean?

I’m calling for the government to proactively use the Grenada abatement of litter law, to assist in promoting a clean and healthy environment.

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