I live in a beautiful island of Jamaica, a land of breath-taking nature surrounded by crystal-clear Caribbean waters.
It is painful to see how some inhabitants of the island are totally unaware of environmental health as they pollute the land by excessive littering.
I had a volunteering experience in cleaning one of the beaches in Portmore, St. Catherine and among other volunteers we have collected a lot of waste products from the beach. Even after long hours on a pretty hot sun there was still a lot of work left as the amount that waste was absolutely enormous.
The reason why all that garbage such as disposed household items, food packaging, personal items ends up on the beach is because of inappropriate disposal, for example, some people discard lunch boxes not in a garbage bin but exactly where they had that lunch, that is on the ground or sand, they also throw away consumables in the gullies that run through the island. Together with water, the incorrectly disposed consumables are being carried out from the gullies into the sea and subsequently sink on the sea floor or end up on the beaches.
I was glad to see not only adults but also school children volunteering to the cleaning of the beach as they will definitely remember that one’s negligent lifestyle causes many, inclusive of themselves, to work hard after and that if they will behave the same way as those people who pollute the land it will cause significant damage to the environment.
I want all the people to understand harmful consequences of pollution and be strongly disciplined and care for the land they live on and they claim they also love.
To prevent littering the country needs to implement a more detailed and strict system of fines for littering, raise the public awareness of environmental health and protection through various campaigns and, of course, to improve the recycling and waste management system so that the fight against littering will transform into everyone’s lifestyle.
Aleksandra Balyasnikova-Smith (Jurist)