Editorial for 21 December: Filthy beaches are a shame

Some of our beaches are filled with lost soles.

That’s the finding of filmmaker Edward Scott-Clarke who has
been in the Cayman Islands taking pictures of our picture-perfect pristine
beaches – the ones we show off to our tourists – and the lesser known beaches
that we Caymanians frequent.

It’s a wake up call that those of us who live near these
lesser known beaches need to do a better job of picking up the trash that
washes ashore from God who knows where.

Much of the stuff that washes up on our shores is plastic –
bottles, bags, flip flops, athletic shoes, cutlery, cups, plates, bowls – and
it is a hazard, not only to our beaches (and our image) but to marine life.

While we can’t stop the currents bringing trash to our
shores, we can take measures in our own lives to reduce the amount of plastic
that is finding its ways into our landfill and along our roadways and
eventually into our sea.

Keep in mind how much plastic you are actually consuming
each time you go to a retailer and purchase something. Many of the items we buy
come in plastic packaging. We can try to steer clear of those items, or buy in
bulk to limit the amount of plastic packaging we are discarding. We can all do
a better job of eating off of reusable plates and bowls and using cutlery that
isn’t made of plastic. Ditto for drinking out of washable cups and glasses.

Instead of buying that soda in a plastic bottle, pick up one
that is in an aluminium can, which can be recycled on Grand Cayman.

And speaking of recycling, in this era of protestations to
urge change, rally your elected representative(s) to get serious about putting
in a proper recycling programme for all three of our Islands. We have paid lip
service to this idea for far too long.

Area supermarkets are already on the road to getting rid of
plastic bags and urging shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. To them and
those shoppers that are participating, we say thanks. But we need to do more.
We can start by taking care of our beaches, paying attention to the plastics we
are buying and insisting on recycling.