Today’s Editorial March 28: Litter bad for Cayman

A trip to the beach should be for relaxation, to soak up some rays or frolic in the sea.

No one should have to go to the beach to pick up litter.

But folks do only a daily and weekly basis.

Kudos to those who take to heart the need to keep our country free of litter.

But it appears there are more people creating litter than there are to keep it picked up.

Litter is made up of the cigarette butts, soda cans, coffee cups, beer bottles, plastic bags, gum wrappers and various other items you see along roadways and on beaches, blown up against a fence or swirling around an empty lot.

When people throw things from their car, drop things on the ground or even if someone aims for a garbage can, misses and leaves it that is littering.

Litter is ugly and it can harm the environment and lead to diseases.

We need to keep the land and beaches of the Cayman Islands clean for our own benefit.

We faced mounds of trash and rubbish after Hurricane Ivan. That was understandable. We had been through a terrible ordeal that left us with broken buildings and vehicles.

But the trash that now litters beaches, roadways and empty lots is not understandable and there is certainly no excuse for it.

Maybe tougher laws and greater enforcement efforts would help make a difference, but the problem won’t be solved until all members of the community are fully aware of the nuisance and dangers littering and illegal dumping can cause.

The only hope of solving the problem is public education. Only when every member of the community has enough civic pride and enough consciousness will the problem go away.

And it needs to go away, not for the tourists, but for us, the people who live and play here every day.

Until that sense of national pride takes hold, be vigilant in making sure you don’t litter and getting others to stop.

In the meantime, pick out a portion of a beach or a section of roadway and spend a couple of hours each week keeping these areas clean and free of litter.

If you see someone littering, gently put them to shame.

Not everyone is capable of taking up the task of picking up someone else’s litter, but everyone is capable of not littering.