Lots of trash on beaches, bonfires lit without permits

Garbage on Mullet Bay Beach.

MULLET BAY–Nature Foundation has noticed during its beach patrols a significant amount of trash left behind by residents and visitors from the Easter weekend celebrations.

The Foundation also noticed a large amount of trash left behind along the roadsides.   “We again would like to urge the population to clean up after themselves, as any responsible, able-minded and mature citizen of St. Maarten should,” said Nature Foundation Manager Tadzio Bervoets. Mullet Bay Beach is “a huge mess, with food trash attracting ants and rats, plastic cups and bottles and single use plastic bags littering the beach.”

Numerous bonfires were also lit without a permit, endangering the critically-endangered nesting sea turtle population, he said. “This especially hurts since we were so busy to ensure that the beaches were clean after the hurricane for people to use and to see that trash is being left behind is unacceptable.”

   Nature Foundation calls on Government and organisers of events and activities to ensure there are enough waste disposal facilities available on the beaches and elsewhere. Beach-goers and event patrons who want to dispose of their trash are sometimes unable to do so because there are not enough bins on the roadside, on the beaches or at event locations.

“We are asking that more emphasis is being placed on having proper garbage disposal facilities available during these events. There should also be a scheme where beaches are cleaned regularly instead of waiting on NGOs [non-governmental organisations – Ed.] and volunteers to clean garbage,” he said.

The Foundation said there is the urgent need for legislation banning certain plastics, “as the situation is now more or less out of control.”

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/75429-lots-of-trash-on-beaches-bonfires-lit-without-permits