The Environmental Protection Department is continuing its efforts to monitor and collect data to adequately address the issue of beach littering in Barbados.
Senior Pollution Officer, Carlon Worrell, said marine litter had become a notable problem on beaches across the island, and warned that it was not only unsightly, but also posed a danger to marine life and human health.
To address this issue, he said, Barbados was participating in the National Marine Litter Monitoring Programme, one of three pilot projects aimed at educating the public on the causes and effects of marine litter and developing a monitoring programme to provide information on the types and quantities of garbage found on beaches.
“The monitoring programme is intended to build on the Adopt-a-Beach Programme administered by the National Conservation Commission, where interested groups or businesses can adopt beaches … and assist in their beautification and conservation.
“These groups will also assist in collecting information on the types and quantities of litter found on these beaches and provide this information to the EPD,” Worrell said.
He explained that this information would provide data on the different types of litter found across Barbados; identify the main sources of marine litter; ways of reducing it; increase public knowledge of marine litter and its sources and effects on Barbadians and their environment; and encourage the public to change the current trend of litter disposal.
Worrell said the information gathered from themonitoring programme would not only provide information for Barbados, but would also contribute to the global data collected by Ocean Conservancy as part of their international coastal clean up programme.
Bottle caps, rope, plastic bottles, and paper bags topped the list of items collected from the Morgan Lewis Beach in St. Andrew during International Coastal Clean-up Day.
In addition, other items such as syringes, diapers, wigs, parts of a boat, small gas cylinders, tooth brushes, furniture, pipe conduit and regular garbage were also found at the beach.
However, he noted that when the original sources of the litter were traced, it was usually found to be inland.
“It is the things that people did and used on the land that are making their way to the coast mainly through water channels and gullies,” he said.
But Worrell pointed out that people usually don’t believe that what they did on land affected the island’s coast. He used the example of bottle caps found at beaches, which he said usually washed down from people’s yards when they removed them as part of their recycling efforts.