The Sint Maarten Nature Foundation, during its beach patrols, has noticed a significant amount of trash left behind by both residents and visitors after the Easter holidays. The Foundation has noticed a large amount of trash being left behind by users of beaches and along the roadsides; “We noticed a large amount of trash being left behind by beach-goers and again would like to urge the population to clean-up after themselves as any responsible, able-minded and mature citizen of Sint Maarten should,” commented Tadzio Bervoets, Nature Foundation Manager. “Mullet Bay Beach for example 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. 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,” continued Bervoets.
The Nature Foundation is also calling on Government and organizers of events and activities to ensure that there are enough waste disposal facilities available;” patrons who want to dispose of their garbage are sometimes unable to do so because there aren’t enough bins on the roadside or at the beaches or at event locations. Therefore 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 NGO’s and Volunteers to clean garbage. We also urgently need legislation banning certain plastics as the situation is now more or less out of control,” concluded Bervoets.
Photo: Garbage on Mullet Bay Beach