Over 1300 lbs of plastic waste and abandoned fishing gear collected in one hour at the beach clean-up organised by the Department of the Environment on Saturday August 29th at Marguerita Bay.
The Department of Environment and sponsors Birds Caribbean, organised a beach clean up to achieve major objectives of rallying support of civil society groups and the youth to become aware of the impact of littering on the environment; raising awareness about shorebirds and the impact of plastic and litter in general has on them; and to highlight that littering is not just a local issue but a regional problem.
Environment Officer, Miss Ajhermae White reiterated that everyone can play their part to be the solution to plastic pollution and make habitats safer for migratory birds that connect to our world.
The Department of Environment said, a wide assortment of plastic debris; bottles, shoes, containers, toys, fishing gear and even propane bottles littered the North Eastern coastline of Marguerita Bay. What is disturbing about this litter is that it is very likely that the majority of the 1300 lbs of waste collected did not originate from Montserrat but drifted in from other countries. This highlights that littering is an issue that would need to be tackled regionally. It also raises the question regarding the number of discarded or lost fishing nets that are still in the ocean and impacting the fish and turtle population.
Several groups to include the Rotary Club, Statistics Department, Eco Montserrat and Girl power were given the challenge to collect classify as much plastic and other non bio degradable waste as possible within one hour. The bags were then weighed and the team of Eco Montserrat emerged the winners collecting the most waste by weight.
The DOE was particularly impressed and encouraged by the large number of youth that participated.