Valentine’s Day Lovers Wall clean-up removes 1,350 pounds of plastic

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.

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Thousands of plastic bottle caps were among the debris removed from the Lovers Wall beach area on Sunday as part of the clean-up. – Photo: Submitted

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.

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  1. So glad to see people loving on each other and the environment this way. So sad to see the need for it. Nobody, anywhere should be tossing trash into the sea, rivers, lakes or roadside. Litterers should literally be ashamed of themselves and are deserving of public shaming if caught. Ships that toss trash at sea should get painfully massive fines because they are such major contributors and so difficult to observe and prosecute. Thank you to all of the compassionate people who regularly remove litter wherever they may find it. It is appreciated.