Volunteers of Grenada Fund for Conservation (GFC), Sandals Foundation, Education Conservation Outreach (ECO) at St George’s University, Leos and Lions of St Andrew, Youth Emergency Action Committee (YEAC), Telescope Environment Community Organisation (TEDCO), Grenada Green Group (G3) and residents collaborated last Sunday, 17 February to clean up a portion of the North Eastern coastline.
“Originally we set out to cover Telescope to La Poterie, that is, the entire upper St Andrew bay, but given the amount of litter and the number of volunteers, we managed to successfully cover 1.3 kilometers, from Telescope to Simon; retrieving 2,300 pounds of garbage,” shared Zoya Buckmire, Project Administrator of GFC.
The end of cleanup statistics seems outlandish because it is, and she is gravely concerned; “The fact that thousands of pounds of garbage — almost 90% of which was plastic — were found in such a small coastal area is cause for concern, and we need to begin conversations about more effective means of waste management on our island, as well as promote smart consumerism and discourage the use of single-use plastics.”
Environment, Health and Safety Manager at Sandals Grenada, Larissa Mark hopes to see a multi-partisan shift in waste management in Grenada, “We need to make smarter consumption decisions as private entities and on a micro level within our homes. As a resort Sandals Grenada is cognisant of this and we are making those changes; in terms of waste management we continue with compacting and made the move to paper straws last November, banned Styrofoam at all resorts and we continue to evaluate the continued elimination of single-use plastics throughout our operations. Now we are also working with local suppliers to figure out a roadmap to recycling that can be emulated by other parties.”
Here is a breakdown of the 2,300 pounds of garbage they collected:
- plastic bottles 1,465 pounds
- mixed plastics 549 pounds
- styrofoam 74 pounds
- cloth/sail/canvas 28 pounds
- micro plastics 9 pounds
- glass 9 pounds
- other 173 pounds.
“I don’t think I have ever seen this many plastic bottles in one place in my life, much less to see them where they definitely shouldn’t be; in between the mangroves, in the mud and lodged into the sand. It is disheartening but at least we removed them so they won’t get into the ocean,” lamented Jonissa Auguste, Sandals Foundation volunteer.
Equally concerned, Kendon James (President of ECO) added; “Every year cleanup activities are getting more and more popular yet the amount of garbage being collected continues to be astonishingly high. This is alarming and we Grenadians need to be more conscious of our actions as we are the source of this problem.”
He urges a more impactful approach. “We need to be bold in our approach and collectively aspire for a cleaner, greener Grenada so that we and future generations may enjoy this unique paradise.”
Grenada Fund for Conservation
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