Letter: Keep litter ‘pigs’ at bay

Plastic waste and other debris litter the shoreline along a North Sound inlet. Volunteers will be cleaning up the area on Saturday. - Photo: Claire Hughes

In Cayman, we like to practise ‘Cayman Kind’ with respect and friendliness offered to all residents and visitors alike.

In Cayman, we love our verdant Island. We love the blue of the sea and sky.

Sadly, in Cayman, we are being negatively affected by a growing infestation of what I call ‘Invisible Trash Pigs’ (Scientific name: Quisquiliae Sus Invisibilia).

These creatures are rarely seen by the naked eye. They are relatively scentless, and they do not snort like their common cousin, Sus Scrofa Domesticus.

Trash pig infestations can be determined by growing amounts of trash left on roadsides, beaches, trails.

Heavy infestations manifest in unmistakable large dumping areas with contents such as building materials and picked over vehicle remains, usually located in places ‘off the beaten path’, such as Barkers Head Park.

Invisible pigs will influence witless humans (people who have not been educated in our ways of respect for themselves, other people or the environment) to litter on their behalf.

There are a few methods to successfully eliminate infestations.

First, all good Caymanians need to be on guard in their own backyards and neighbourhoods. Pick up any little pieces of debris to place into recycling bins or the garbage. Invisible pigs love to accumulate garbage and learn quickly that they can deposit in the same place again and again if their first deposit goes undisturbed.

Second, Caymanians who see an invisible pig in action, or a human under the mental control of an invisible pig, need to call out to stop the littering.

We need to share with that human our concern for our environmental health, the importance for them to share that concern and we need to show them how to use the garbage and recycling bins located around the island.

Educating and empowering all visitors and residents alike about the importance of a clean country, and how to keep it clean, will greatly reduce the ability of invisible pigs to spread their littering ways.

Third, if an invisible pig, or a human under their influence cannot be made to see reason and clean up after themselves, we need to use our Litter Law. Call the police to have them enforce the law.

Invisible pigs are committing an offence. Document with your camera, collect witnesses’ contact information, and call the police.

Section 3 of our Litter Law directs that whoever litters a public place as to cause its defacement is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for six months. We need to start to use the law for our own benefit.

We each need to work hard to eradicate this infestation. Let’s keep Cayman Kind AND Clean, for us, for our visitors, and especially for the visible wildlife we share this country with.

Deirdre Billes

If you value our service, if you have turned to us in the past few days or weeks for verified, factual updates, if you have watched our live streaming of press conferences or sent an article to a friend... please consider a donation. Quality local journalism was at risk before the coronavirus crisis. It is now deeply threatened. Even a small amount can go a long way to sustaining our mission of informing the public. We need our readers’ financial support now more than ever.