“Don’t Waste Barbados” Partners take lead in Beach Clean-up

Recently, corporate partners and supporters of “Don’t Waste Barbados” set out to clean up beach land near Bridgetown as a lead-up to Independence Day.

A new national anti-littering movement, “Don’t Waste Barbados,” has ambitious aims centred on creating awareness around the dangerous effects of litter in Barbados, promoting proper waste disposal habits, and adopting an anti-litter culture.

According to ‘Don’t Waste Barbados’ founder Anthony Da Silva, the ultimate goal of this initiative is to make Barbados a cleaner place. “This is a long-term campaign. We have a whole programme of initiatives planned beyond beach clean-ups because it is going to be a long-term strategy to change behaviours.” Da Silva added that Don’t Waste Barbados encourages other people to help solve the litter problem. “We literally have the power in our hands in whether we decide to drop litter on our roads, sidewalks and beaches or dispose of it in a responsible way,” he said.

"Don't Waste Barbados" founder Anthony Da Silva (far right) with (from left) Anderson Yarde of Innotech, Innotech Marketing Executive Hillary Ann Williams, Managing Director at Mediahouse Graham Cumberbatch showing just some of the plastic picked up on Carlisle Bay and nearby beaches. "Don't Waste Barbados" is a new national, anti-littering movement.

“Don’t Waste Barbados” founder Anthony Da Silva (far right) with (from left) Anderson Yarde of Innotech, Innotech Marketing Executive Hillary Ann Williams, Managing Director at Mediahouse Graham Cumberbatch showing just some of the plastic picked up on Carlisle Bay and nearby beaches. “Don’t Waste Barbados” is a new national, anti-littering movement.

Innotech, the first corporate early adopter of Don’t Waste Barbados, Prosource, the Caribbean Youth Network members and Eco Rebel spent hours cleaning up in Carlisle Bay and beyond. Da Silva noted that fast-food staple Chefette has also come on board as a partner for the project.

The clean-up confirmed our current reality that plastic is the most common material found on the beaches, and the percentage of microplastics continues to increase. Many of the items collected on the beaches were plastic, including degrading bottles, bottle stoppers, and fraying plastic bags, which will eventually end up in the ocean on the coastline. The clean-up also suggested that Barbados’ beaches are also suffering negative impacts from the coronavirus outbreak. Increased takeout foodware, single-use packaging, and improperly discarded personal protective equipment (PPE), mostly masks, were part of the litter haul.

The volunteer group separated recyclable plastics from other litter and waste. Their activity on the beach caught the attention of some young people who spontaneously joined the team in gathering up discarded trash.

The volunteer group separated recyclable plastics from other litter and waste. Their activity on the beach caught the attention of some young people who spontaneously joined the team in gathering up discarded trash.

Public Relations and Communications Officer at ProSource Ltd., Janelle Edwards, said she hoped this initial event and future projects would educate Barbadians and visitors alike that plastics could be recycled and ultimately the events would be change-makers. “If we don’t change the people’s mindset, that will decrease the program’s effectiveness,” she said. “Beach clean-ups would be a reactionary response to litter and pollution but changing the mindset of people will create meaningful change at the local and national levels.”

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