The Scouts Association of Belize mobilized volunteers across the country to work with this year’s International Waterway and Coastline Clean-up, a global initiative carried out by Ocean Conservancy last Saturday, September 29.
The Association brought together non-government organizations, schools, interested businesses and public minded citizens to remove garbage and other debris from Belize’s waterways.
This time participants did more than just pick up the trash. They also recorded the quantity and type of trash on data cards provided by Ocean Conservancy.
This data will be distributed to participating countries and Ocean Conservancy to better assess and implement policies to tackle the ocean garbage problem at both regional and global levels.
Some 600,000 volunteers all over the world removed more than 9 million pounds of garbage from the coastlines and waterways throughout the world last year, so the information gathered also helps to assess the impact and growth of the initiative.
“Oceana is proud to take part in this annual event,” stated Oceana’s Vice President for Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd.
“In addition to our volunteers mobilizing countrywide, Oceana used biodegradable trash bags and, to further reduce the use of plastic, did away with plastic water bottles and water pouches (ideals). Instead it served beverages to volunteers in biodegradable cups.
“The majority of the garbage found along our waterways and coastline were styro-foam containers and plastic bottles, bags, caps etc.”, Oceana’s Communication and Marketing Officer, Hipolito Bautista noted. Bautista was also Oceana’s coordinator for this year’s clean up.
“Every person can help with this clean-up, year round, because the best way to tackle garbage is not to create it,” Bautista observed.