Plastic, number one pollutant in Dominica

Plastic waste in Dominica

Data collected over an 18 year period has shown that plastic is the number one pollutant in Dominica.

This was revealed by Coordinator of the National Beach and Waterway Clean-up Campaign, Terry Raymond during the Dominica Youth Environment Organization Annual Beach Clean-up Campaign on Sunday.

“The cleanup campaign is a data collecting exercise where we try to find out what causes the most problems in Dominica in terms of pollutant. We have been collecting data for 18 years and it has come more precise … this is why we know that plastic is the most common pollutant in Dominica,” he said.

According to Raymond, Styrofoam is the second highest pollutant on the island.

He said the organizers of the clean up campaign have been trying to effect change based on the data collected.

“We want to educate people on how to better understand that they have to take responsibility on disposing their garbage,” he pointed out.

Raymond said plans are also in place to make use of plastic waste and to generate income.

“The disposal and crushing and shredding of plastic bottles for exports are also being looked at. We are trying to collect plastics in order to assist the Solid Waste with that project. We are also hoping to have some remuneration for those collecting the plastics,” he stated.

The Dominica Solid Waste Management Corporation, the Ministry of Environment and the Youth Development Division were among other stakeholders involved in the annual clean-up campaign.

Participants in the clean up campaign

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16 Comments

  1. Roof top
    October 23, 2012

    We need to now look at Dominica and the way they do things. I remamber some time ago on the news it was said that all PLASTIC BAGS given at shopping places would be stop or one would have to PAY FOR IT OR COME TO SHOP WITH YOU HAND BAGS THAT THAT YOU RECYCLE but what has happened nothing. We need to put thing in place to stop this now.

  2. BLA B L A
    October 23, 2012

    DOES IT REALLY MAKE SENSEE………. Unless something is done like in Rwanda, cleaning the beaches by Terry Raymond and his group and other groups is basically a waste of time. LAS PARLEZ ….

  3. Clement Rabess
    October 23, 2012

    No doubt PET containers from the beverage industry is the major contributor to the plastic pollution. The removal of PET bottles from the waste stream would reduce the volume of plastics pollutants by more than 70%.

    The introduction of a program/policy to assign a monetary value to the empty PET container would ensure that it does not enter the waste stream, and if it does, there is a direct reward for removing it.

    The tried and proven method of assigning a monetary value to that empty PET container is through a deposit return system. Barbados has such a system in place and because of it I can challenge anyone to find PET litter in Bridgetown.

    The question then becomes, “why doesn’t Dominica have such a system in place”. Could it that the Solid Waste Management Team has an agenda that precludes them from advocating for a system that the major importers/bottlers of beverages perceive as having a negative effect on beverage
    sales. Here is a clear case of convoluted priorities.

  4. ROSEAU VALLEY
    October 22, 2012

    The coordinators of the National Beach and Waterway Clean-up Campaign would be congratulated by the President of the small African state of Rwanda. Perhaps no better example can be found in the developing world of a government-led initiative to eliminate plastic in the environment as exists in Rwanda.

    The government of Rwanda (in particular the President) has been very keen in ensuring that the environment in that country is kept clean and that it does not contain plastic.

    With the active support of government, the citizens of Rwanda regularly engage in Island-wide clean up campaigns to remove plastic from the environment. Citizens are know to take days off from work just to pick up plastic bags as part of a government’s effort to keep the environment clean.

    Initially, the government disallowed all plastic into the country and it has been reported that Rwandan border control/immigration officials would check travelers at the points of entry and confiscate all plastic in their possession. Over time, the authorities have been less stringent with the enforcement of the policy but still they only allow limited discretion.

    Certainly, before visiting Rwanda, one is forewarned; “No plastic bags allowed into the country.” (US state department website on international travel). Another travel site http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1007.html states:
    “Non-biodegradable plastic bags are banned in Rwanda. Travelers carrying them upon arrival at the Kayibanda International airport may have them confiscated and have to pay approximately $4 for a reusable cloth replacement”

    See a BBC report on the subject: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4619748.stm.

    Groups such as the Rotary/Rotaract clubs, Jacyees Int, Lions, Leo, etc should join in a spirit of volunteerism and help improve community awareness of the destructive impact of plastic on the environment – as I know they already do.
    Respectfully
    Roseau valley

    • WOW!!!!
      October 23, 2012

      you always wow me with your information. wow!!Good research Roseau valley

  5. Bag Lady
    October 22, 2012

    It is almost impossible to not get given plastic bags here by every shop, market stall or street vendor. The look of utter disbelief on the face of the cashier when I say ‘I dont need a bag thanks….to carry this container which has its own perfectly good handle built into it…designed to enable a person to carry it’! So what happens? It gets double bagged :cry:

  6. jax
    October 22, 2012

    visited mero yesterday. what do i say, totally disgusting. not just plastic. broken bottles, condoms, caps from beer bottles, babys dirty nappies, total filth. nature island my foot.

    • Malgraysa
      October 23, 2012

      Yeah…and that is where they take cruise ship visitors when they pay for a beach tour! Nature island indeed.

  7. fan
    October 22, 2012

    plastic is a huge pollutant problem in beautiful dominica no lie

  8. Foreigner
    October 22, 2012

    Brickbats and bouquets for plastics polution.
    A very big bouquet to the baker in River Street who sells his bread in paper bags and brickbats to all the bakers who sell their bread in plastic bags.

  9. Pondera
    October 22, 2012

    Great research work. Is this the same caucasion gentleman who lives in Dublanc area? I know they have been cleaning the roadside for many years now. We need to do something about this littering problem.

  10. Solestarr
    October 22, 2012

    Kudos on the efforts of Mr. Raymond and his team!!!
    However, as a yearly contributor to this clean-up campaign I am once again disappointed that the organizers have not taken this one step further by identifying the specific businesses that are responsible for the majority of the plastic and styro-foam garbage picked up.
    It is admirable that data is collected but I also believe it is fitting for the ones most responsible for selling products that are later dumped along the coastline, are made to contribute toward educating the public on proper waste disposal, contribute toward sensitizing our young generation on the importance of keeping our shores clear of garbage or finance entire beach cleanup programs like this one. Just looking around, some of the main culprits are clearly visible as their branded plastic bags, soda bottles and packaging far outnumber the rest of the garbage seen.
    Just a constructive note that I hope can be used in the future to hold the biggest contributors to this garbage issue more accountable.

    • say what
      October 22, 2012

      Check the gentleman with the white cap with the plastic bottle in his hand for that infomation

  11. Malatete
    October 22, 2012

    It is not only the plastic and styrofoam that gets discarded into the environment. The burning of this material without safeguards is also a source of toxic carcignogens (cancer producing substances). Whilst alernatives for items such as shopping bags and PET bottles may be a longer-term aim there is absolutely no reason why we cannot replace the ubiquitous styrofoam containers with bio-degradable paper/cardboard equivalents with immediate effect and I would urge the Govt. to put the necessary measures in place to make this happen.

  12. Dave Thomas
    October 22, 2012

    Or the people could do what they have always done and will continue to do … burn it causing the release of toxic chemicals here on the “nature island” Just breathe!

    • FED UP DOMINICAN
      October 22, 2012

      Mr Thomas, I agree 1000%.

      SOME Dominicans burn their rubbish everyday, I always say its their daily fix. They will not survive if they dont light a fire daily. No regards for people with breathing problems.

      So much for boasting that Dominica is the ‘Nature Island’.

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