In recognition of International Coastal Cleanup Day, held annually on the third Saturday in September, the NGO, Green Circle Environmental Company (tGC) headed DDI to Scotland Bay to clean the beach on September 17.
The NGO and its 238 volunteers removed over 3,000 pounds of waste from the beach. In 2019, 1,925 lbs of trash was removed. That was the last year the Green Circle was able to participate in coastal cleanup activities, owing to the pandemic, a media release said.
In TT, International Coastal Cleanup Day is spearheaded by the Caribbean Network for Integrated and Rural Development (CNIRD). This was the NGO’s sixth year leading the cleanup of Scotland Bay, and its largest garbage haul to date.
The Green Circle gathered volunteers from more than 20 crews aboard two vessels at 6 am to head to the nearby beach. Teams like Massy Group, Caesar’s Army, Tribe, the Unit Trust Corporation and many others, some of whom had participated in previous years, cleared away 1,456 pounds of glass, 544 pounds of plastic and 1,267 pounds of general waste. This included 1,643 plastic bottles, 2,098 glass bottles and 1,145 cans. A total of nine toilet bowls were found at the bay.
Founder of tGC Kerrie-Kim Kirton said in the release, “Every time we come to Scotland Bay, we hope to have a different result. We hope to meet a cleaner beach, and we hope to collect less garbage than we did in the past year.
“Unfortunately, each year, the opposite is true.”
It is the young environmentalist’s wish that each citizen of this great nation takes personal responsibility for themselves and their surroundings, taking back with them what they use.
“I believe we can do better, and we shouldn’t wait for the Government or private companies to do it for us. Each of us has the power to make our world a better, greener place. Every little bit goes a long way,” he said.
Kirton dubs the Green Circle’s contribution to International Coastal Cleanup Day the “Beach Clean pump,” as the NGO invites popular youth-based crews along with numerous corporate partners to take part.
Groups like Punchy Punch, South is Love, Maritime, Brydens and the Rotaract Club of Central Diego Martin, to name just a few, gather early in the morning, head to Scotland Bay, clean the beach and return to the mainland, where the “pump” thatTrinis are well-known for, ensues. Feeling fulfilled by having given back to the environment, the teams lime and join in a typical Trini boat cruise.
International Coastal Cleanup
The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is the world’s largest annual volunteer event to clean up the marine environment. This global initiative is co-ordinated by the Ocean Conservancy, Virginia, US. TT’s Coastal Cleanup is organised by the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development (CNIRD) in partnership with the National Planning Committee (a network of like-minded organisations).
A major feature of ICC is data collection. This data is formulated on the documentation of the types of debris found, the weight of the debris, the number of kilometres or miles cleaned and the number of volunteers who participated in the clean-up. Over the past 20 years TT has been an active participant.
Green Circle founder Kirton expresses immense gratitude to all volunteers at the 2022 edition of the Beach Clean pUmP, without whom, he said, Scotland Bay may not have received the cleaning it needed.
He also acknowledged the support of the private sector and hopes to build further partnerships with corporate Trinidad in order to undertake more environmentally friendly initiatives. Corporate entities can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022, Scotland Bay, Trinidad
167 bags of garbage
3,267 lbs of trash
193 bags of garbage
1,925 lbs of trash
188 bags of garbage
3,364 lbs of trash
217 bags of garbage
4,117 lbs of trash
100+ bags of garbage
2,200 lbs. of trash
88 bags of garbage
1,450 lbs of trash