Recycling is growing in popularity worldwide, with numerous countries implementing waste management policies into the daily lives of their citizens. Cayman is home to over 135 different nationalities, many of which have already established effective recycling systems(“Cayman’s Facts, Figures, Units of Measurement & Currency”). However, despite Cayman’s welcoming warmth and kindness, this island is not particularly welcoming to these beneficial recycling habits.
In the past few months, a group of classmates has been analysing different demographic and social factors that encourage people to recycle. As part of our research, we conducted a survey of waste management habits. We interviewed around 150 people at grocery stores, restaurants, Camana Bay and other public places. Of the people surveyed, 46.5% of those who do not currently recycle have discontinued their habits since moving to Cayman.
Our island’s waste management programme needs to be prioritised. Currently, we are deterring people from continuing to recycle, causing the most detrimental part of our island, the dump, to expand at a rapid rate.
Cayman is lagging behind. A plethora of developed countries are working hard on the race against time to improve their waste management systems. Our government needs to support, not hinder, the beneficial habits citizens bring with them from where they previously resided. Incentives and support, such as recycling bins outside homes, accessible information on recycling and transparency within the programme, are all things that Cayman should look favourably upon.
Protect our future.
Ava Hider and Arielle Farley
Grade 11, Cayman International School