Since the April 1 ban on single use plastics came into effect, people have raised concerns about the effectiveness of the alternatives available on the market, among other issues. However, one environmental activist is of the view that we overlooked one major issue in implementing the ban.
“While I am in support of the ban on single use plastics owing to the harm they cause to the environment, what we really have in Barbados is a solid waste disposal problem. In fact, when my organisation did a clean up over the Easter weekend, we saw some of the new ‘eco-friendly’ containers dumped along the wayside as well.”
“One of the dilemmas we will have with these containers is that they must be disposed of in an industrial composting facility, but there are no such facilities anywhere in the Caribbean, ” Founder of Eco Rebel Dominique Tudor told Barbados TODAY.
She suggests that Government should have used the ban on single use plastics as an opportunity to push garbage separation at source, imposing fines and enforcing them, and setting up cameras in areas prone to illegal dumping.
Over the weekend, Tudor was involved in an Easter activity with a difference.
“We got involved in what we called an Easter Trash Hunt at the Jack in the Box Gully in St Thomas, which was a two-part activity in that we were cleaning up the gully on behalf of Action for Animals Barbados, the Future Centre Trust and the Barbados National Trust, who were going to use the area for a hike on Earth Day, which was celebrated on Easter Monday”.
Overall, 15 people took part in the clean up, including the St Thomas Parish Independence Committee, with the Parish Ambassadors from 2018 and 2019 on board. Tudor commended the Parish Ambassadors for their commitment to the task, noting that, “They weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and work hard, and they even encouraged people passing through the area on the bus to come down and help.”
While no official figure was confirmed, both Tudor and another team member, Arthur Collymore of Environomics, said they believed over two tonnes of garbage were collected, which was a hard task because they did not have any lifting equipment with them.
“We hauled up three huge tanks, five mattresses, five television sets, and what was particularly distressing was the quantum of domestic and farm waste that littered both sides of the gully – apparel, furniture, appliances, vegetable trimmings in plastic bags, and skeletal remains of animals at varying stages of decomposition including cats, dogs, sheep and even horses,” Collymore said in a statement,
He appealed to Barbadians to desist from the practice of disposing of waste indiscriminately across the country.
Other participants in the weekend clean up included Garbage Master, Mojo Barbados, and the Coral Reef Restoration Alliance Barbados. (DH)