As we celebrate our planet Earth this week, let’s not forget about our beautiful Caribbean Sea.
Our trash kills. When odds and ends of life on land – particularly plastics – end up in the sea, they pose hazards to marine life. Animals drown or strangle from getting tangled in discarded or lost fishing gear, or suffer and even die from eating plastics and other garbage.
Garbage is an eyesore on our beaches.
Broken glass and ceramic tile are dangers to anyone walking on the beach, including dogs. Stepping on an upturned jagged bottle base can actually sever tendons, causing a permanent limp.
Plastic bags and pieces of clear plastic look like jellyfish to sea turtles and can become clogged in their digestive tracts causing death.
Fishing line tangles up birds and turtles, causing injuries and deaths.
Six pack rings can grip around the necks of birds and turtles, strangling them.
We have to remember that our country wasn’t always plagued with waste either on land or in the sea.
The concept of waste is a creation of the 20th Century. Before that, nothing was thrown away.
There are still many older native Caymanians who still hoard and reuse items from newspapers to rope to bottles.
Unfortunately the plastic explosion followed by the packaging boom found its way here to the Cayman Islands.
And with the convenience of all the packing that comes continuously to our shores has come litter.
And lots of it.
Just take a look at the landfill in George Town, aptly nicknamed Mt. Trashmore.
We all need to do what we can to reduce our use of plastics and to help clean up our country.
This week has been dedicated to focusing on Earth and there will be lots of groups tackling the litter issue all over the country.
But we can’t just pay attention to our planet one week out of the year.
We have to be vigilant.
We should all be practicing the slogan of reduce, reuse, recycle instead of littering the country with Earth Day and Environment day posters.
It’s Earth Week, so get out and participate. There was a full listing of events in the 13 April edition of the Caymanian Compass on page A7. It’s also online at www.caycompass.com.