Over half-a-ton of garbage was removed from the Invaders Bay, Port-of-Spain, coastline, on Saturday as employees, friends and volunteers of bmobile demonstrated their support for marine conservation through the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC).
Bmobile joined with volunteers from the Office of the Prime Minister, WASA, Hyatt Regency Trinidad, One Dollar Foundation, Debe Secondary School Scouts, Eve Anderson & Associates and the Caribbean Youth Environment Network and together they collected and removed a total of 1267 pounds of trash – plastic (662lbs), miscellaneous (564lbs) and glass (41lbs) – was collected at this location.
The waste, which ranged from a multitude of bottles, Styrofoam, clothing, furniture and even tyres, were separated into designated bags, then weighed, recorded and carried by volunteers on a half mile trek back through the mangrove for proper disposal by the city corporation.
Lending a welcomed hand to the over 100 volunteers at Invaders Bay was TSTT’s Chief Performance Officer, Marlon Morris. Morris alongside Senior Manager Public Relations & External Affairs, Graeme Suite, braved the blistering heat to proudly showcase their organisation’s intent towards marine preservation.
“TSTT has always been a strong advocate for the environment and our involvement with the ICC annually is longstanding,” said Morris.
“This mirrors our attention to ensuring our business minimises its impact on the environment through various recycling initiatives. It’s a part of us. Working alongside fellow citizens, we’re able to share our experiences and TSTT will continue doing its part towards raising awareness on the importance of environmental protection and marine conservation.”
Invaders Bay was one of twenty-nine sites targeted throughout Trinidad and Tobago by several private and public sector institutions. The Caribbean Network of Integrated Rural Development (CNIRD) is the official country co-ordinator of the ICC locally, under the Ocean Conservancy.
At Invader’s Bay, past and present students of Debe Secondary School’s Scouts Group under Scout leader Rohini Dabie enthusiastically went about the task of clearing all of the waste in their path.
“We’re making kids aware that plastic and littering on the whole is a real problem. They’re learning today that littering affects our marine life drastically. I must say hats off to bmobile and the ICC for taking a solid stance against marine pollution. This is indeed an eye-opener for us all,” revealed Dabie as her team traversed between the shoreline and the nearby the mangrove removing garbage.
Bmobile volunteer Kerfisha Nicholas opted to include her five and six year-old kids in the coastal clean-up for similar reasons. “I want them to be aware of the repercussions and consequences of not disposing garbage properly,” said Nicholas.
“Even though I reinforce it at home, today’s experience gave them first-hand experience of where waste ends up if we do not dispose of it properly. I’d really like to get them to be involved in marine conservation every year. It’s crucial for their survival.”
The ICC is held on the third Saturday in September each year and is a worldwide activity that aims to raise awareness about environmental health while collecting data for protecting beaches and inland waterways. It is coordinated internationally by Ocean Conservancy of Pollution Prevention and Monitoring and in Trinidad and Tobago the CNIRD and the Institute of Marine Affairs coordinate local efforts