‘Nearly 12 million Britons watched in horror as Sir David Attenborough laid bare the stark impact plastics are having on some of the world’s most precious ecosystems and endangered species during his Blue Planet II TV series’. This was the opening introduction to an excellent article published recently in the UK tourism travel publication, Travel Trade Gazette.
Like the United Kingdom, Barbados is surrounded by water and yet it has been proven, with a few notable exceptions, almost impossible to persuade our population, to be more responsible in the disposal of vast quantities of plastic waste.
Most mornings my wife and I take a short exercise walk and even in this day and age of awareness, we are shocked at the overwhelming percentage of our neighbours who do not separate and recycle all sorts of plastics, glass and tin cans.
Of course, as a destination we are considerably more economically dependent on tourism than Britain, so it makes even more logical sense that we should be miles ahead of them in terms of effective waste disposal.
Several larger tourism entities have declared their intent to not purchase single use plastic items, including straws, but we have a huge mountain to climb, if there is any serious intention of trying to catch up, with where the vast majority of the source markets that our visitors originate.
For our larger companies, it maybe easier to identify and purchase more sustainable alternatives to plastic, but the ‘little’ people have less choice and are generally forced to order through a limited number of distributors, at often inhibitive prices.
Seemingly every time tourism and tax concessions are mentioned in the same sentence, there is an almost universal bray of objection. But this is one area that Government has a moral duty to make it easier and more affordable, for all tourism entities to adopt more eco-friendly sustainable alternatives to the status quo.
If anyone vaguely questions the reality of Sir David Attenborough’s sad conclusion, then take a trip down to Long Beach and see the vast quantities of flotsam and jetsam that is washed ashore daily.
At first, the immediate reaction maybe is what could we possibly do to even partially mitigate that?
Well according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), most of the garbage that is deposited on our beaches derives from waste which finds its way into storm drains and sewers.
Face Southeast from Inch Marlow Point and consider in the same direction the closest landfall is South Africa. Perhaps you then start to understand the vast expanse of ocean and its potential for indiscriminate dumping.
Can our miniscule 166 square miles make a positive difference or will we remain part of the problem and not the solution?
Of course we can!
Start by separating your waste. Lobby for corporate sponsored colour-coded recycling bins to be strategically placed at rum shops, church yards and even political constituency offices and allow companies like B’s Recycling to collect their contents on a regular weekly basis, at no cost to the taxpayer or Government.
Remember, those same 12 million Brits watching episodes of Blue Planet II also book holidays and many maybe deterred by destinations that appear not to be playing their part…………..