A record number of volunteers turned out to mark Earth Day on Saturday, clearing mountains of trash from beaches, parks and public areas around the Cayman Islands.

An estimated 2,000 people scoured the beaches to fill bags full of discarded trash.

From whole car engines and air conditioning units to broken surfboards and thousands of beer bottles, the variety of discarded junk surprised volunteers.

Wil Pineau, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event, said he was encouraged that so many people had shown up, but disheartened at the amount of trash carelessly discarded every year by Cayman Islands residents.

“There has been a record number of volunteers this year. We estimate there were more than 2,000 people. I think this just demonstrates to me that a lot of people really do care about their environment, they understand how fragile our ecosystem is and that some of the trash we see is not just unsightly, it is also dangerous.”

A crew from Faith Christian Church in George Town collects trash along West Bay Road.

He said the amount of trash collected each year is only increasing and warned more enforcement might be necessary to have an impact on the problem.

“Just dumping stuff like this is harming our environment and our tourism product. Perhaps we need to see some big fines to change people’s approach.”

Saturday’s event attracted more than 30 corporate sponsors and saw community groups, church groups, schools and political groups join together to clean up their chosen spots around the island.

Cat Shields and her son Callum, 14, spent the morning collecting trash around Spotts dock.

“We found a lot of beer bottles, a lot of plastic and fishing line,” she said.

“The weirdest thing we found was snails that had made a nest inside a plastic bottle.”

Shanna Myles was out with a group from the Estera Trust around Spotts Public beach.

She said, “There was a lot of trash for a public beach. We filled about 28 bags between us. It was very surprising to see so much trash, particularly in the public areas around the cabanas where the bins are right there.”

Aaliyah McCoy was out with a group from John Gray Memorial Church in Garvin Park, West Bay.

She said she was happy to see so many volunteers out cleaning up their island.

“It was amazing. I’m proud of Cayman and glad to be a part of it.”

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I am ever so happy with the people who have participated in the clean up, and applaud them for their pride and respect for the Islands and the environment . So many bags of beer bottles and cans were picked up from public beach areas with garbage bins available . How sick and disgusting and disrespectful to the Islands and the environment. This is where that $500 littering fine needs to be addressed and enforced .

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  2. A great day for helping our country. Now why does Government do some serious work to save the country. Require deposits on glass bottles or even cans. That would remove a huge amount of waste from the roads and beaches. Many states in the USA do it very successfully, including popular tourist destinations such as Hawaii and California.

    I now laugh when I hear Caymanians calling the radio and complain about expats. It is Caymanians that are littering the country to death.

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  3. Sorry cannot agree with you on this J Bodden. Cayman has about 55,000 people. Out of the 55 thousand we have about 20 thousand who are Caymanians, about 30 thousand on work permits and PR residents, Who is using the most trash. I am being very frank when I ask the question of please tell me when was the last time you went to the supermarket, bank, restaurant, hospital, prison police station, surgical ward, dentist, maternity ward, to the beach, driving on the road, on the busses, walking on the road, baby sitter for children, and baby sitter for your husbands and the list go on- How many Caymanians you see employed. So where is this litter coming from. In few words it is coming from the third world countries who bring their dirty habits here. Earth day clean up!!! you identify how many Caymanians there. Because there is none left to identify. Volunteer work is not given to Caymanians, check it out. Because this is a position given to expatriates, so that in a year time they can become a part of the system legally. Like what I say or don’t like it, but it is the facts; furthermore we do not even have enough Caymanians to put a thumbs up. Watch the streaming and see.

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  4. J you could have clarified your last sentence a little better , scumbag litter bugs , not Caymanians . I am not saying that some Caymanians don’t have their hand in the littering. You need to remember that Cayman Islands have about 10 different nationalities living in Cayman that are not Caymanians yet , and are not all angels like the ones that love and cares about the Islands and the environment .

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