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In the bag

In the bag

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Over 40 large bags of trash and debris were collected from the Stubbs Bay on Saturday 18, 2010, just one of the beaches cleaned as a part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.{{more}}

The JEMS community organization, in collaboration with the St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua Science and Environmental club, as well as community members, rid the bay of all plastic, tins, and styrofoam which populated the black sandy shore of the beach.

“I think it was successful…I’m pleased with how the day went,” President of JEMS, Rhonda Lee, told SEARCHLIGHT. The day saw approximately 30 volunteers, who arrived at the beach around 7:30 am removing all the trash by midday.

According to data collected by JEMS, plastic bottles and plastic soda bottles removed from the beach totaled 3,884. Five hundred bottle caps were recovered, while household cleaning items such as bleach bottles, detergent bottles and other laundry containers amounted to 330. Other items removed from the bay included aerosol cans, food cans, beverage cans and glass beverage bottles.

A fair quantity of galvanize and tin was removed from the beach as well as a car seat, other car parts, a table top and fishing items.

Lee, who said that JEMS has been involved in clean up activities since 1980, noted that during her time in the organization, she has seen an increase in household items, which to her is disappointing. “I think over the years I’ve kinda seen an increase in different types of trash, not only the soda bottles, but the water bottles, the beauty products, a lot of alcohol bottles, a lot more household products,” Lee said.

The key to reducing litter on beaches, Lee said, is for persons to start at home. “I think it has to start from home. Sorting their trash, burning what can be burnt, things that can be reused, reuse them. Dispose of trash properly. We all know when the solid waste truck is coming around, put out the trash on that day,” she advised.

She added that the beaches are usually contaminated because persons dispose of their trash carelessly, unaware of where it ends up.

Other beaches at Richmond, Rose Bank, Edinboro, Roucha, Questelles, Owia, Sandy Bay and Greggs Village were cleaned on Saturday, producing items such as a microwave at Edinboro and an oven recovered from Greggs Village. An abundance of plastic soda bottles was also reportedly taken from those beaches.

The International Coastal Cleanup will continue on Saturday, September 25, 2010, as beaches on St. Vincent as well as the Grenadine Islands from the Bequia to Carriacou and Petit Martinique will be cleaned up.

The 2010 St. Vincent Coastal Cleanup is coordinated by JEMS Progressive Community Organization, with support from the Central Water and Sewerage Authority Solid Waste Management Unit (CWSA/SWMU), the Community Development Division of the Ministry of National Mobilization, and the Environmental Management Department of the Ministry of Health and the Environment

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