More than 100 volunteers spent Valentine’s Day morning cleaning up the beach and roadside area of East End’s Lovers Wall, and removed at least 1,350 pounds of trash.
Volunteers from Plastic Free Cayman, Jeep345, the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps, CaymanEco, and Protect Our Future removed the debris, mostly consisting of single-use plastics and microplastics, in a two-hour period.
A press release from Plastic Free Cayman stated, “It was noted that the smaller blowholes continually release bits of plastic with each cycle. This specific area was cleaned two years ago, but the general area seems to be getting worse with each passing year.”
Among the garbage was a vial of blood and a syringe. Similar medical waste has washed up on several local beaches in recent months, and Plastic Free Cayman said, “This is becoming a more regular occurence.”
Officials say such materials have been washing up for years.
Plastic Free Cayman said it had collected and directly delivered the blood vial and syringe to nearby Health City Cayman Islands for proper disposal, and notified the Department of Health Regulatory Services, which is investigating the source of the various items of medical waste that have recently washed up.
But Plastic Free Cayman said what was even more surprising in the Sunday clean-up was the amount of bottlecaps that volunteers found littering the shores, “with the understanding that many of the bottles were probably sitting at the bottom of our seas”.
The group’s founder Claire Hughes said she is continuing to push for a national clean-up campaign and a plastic ban policy similar to what has been seen on other Caribbean islands. “Sadly, with parliament dissolved, more time will be wasted in addressing this issue,” the group noted in its press release.