By: Jack Paolini and Madison Imparato (CIS Seniors)
Over 120 volunteers, including students, parents, teachers and community members woke up before sunrise to drive out to Eagle Rays this past Sunday in an effort to remove the extensive waste scattered across a previously pristine beach. Threats of torrential showers and wind did not stop this motivated group as they removed over 1600 pounds of waste buried deep and above ground.
Sponsored by Plastic Free Cayman and Red Sail Watersports, this beach clean-up also had an educational booth with the goal of making people aware of their consumption habits and the effects of bioaccumulation. The booth, which was presented by Cayman International School students, included reusable alternatives to plastic straws, that were available for purchase, and the effects of degrading plastic toothbrushes, lighters, and microplastics in the sand and water sources.
While the beach cleanup provided students with community service hours, it also was an eye-opening experience for many. Although most of the trash has been successfully removed from this one area, the greater problem of waste contamination is still prevalent across the island. Currently, this trash now remains at the DOE in Georgetown, where Plastic Free Cayman will sort recyclables and do an assessment of plastics and their direct effects on the environment. Volunteers are welcome to join in the sorting effort on Saturday, September 15th, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the DOE (580 North Sound Road). These efforts will help obtain further data to take legislative steps of transition to a more sustainable environment for all.
National Honor Society students are specifically working on innovative approaches to get our community to become more aware of our consumption habits. Although this beach clean-up ignited the fire towards consumption consciousness, there are still necessary efforts to concretely alter our environment for the better. When passionate CIS individuals join together, the possibilities are endless to overtake such a strenuous battle like environmental degradation.