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Earth Today | Rotaract Club of Kingston gives the gift of ‘clean’ this Christmas

Published:Thursday | December 17, 2020 | 12:27 AM
Club President Wade Edwards-Green (kneeling) led the Rotaract team that collected a significant amount of plastic and other waste from the Palisadoes shores.
Club President Wade Edwards-Green (kneeling) led the Rotaract team that collected a significant amount of plastic and other waste from the Palisadoes shores.
The Rotaract Club of Kingston team, led by Community Service Director Toni-Moy Stewart (centre), pauses for a photo with some of the bags of garbage collected at the Rae Town Fishing Village.
The Rotaract Club of Kingston team, led by Community Service Director Toni-Moy Stewart (centre), pauses for a photo with some of the bags of garbage collected at the Rae Town Fishing Village.
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AS CHRISTMAS nears, the Rotaract Club of Kingston has given a gift to the environment and, by extension, the people who use it, with the recent removal of more than 630 pounds of plastic and other waste from the Rae Town Fishing Village and the Palisadoes shores.

Donning their masks and with their gloves on and garbage bags in hand, two teams of 10 persons from the club cleared plastics and other waste. In just two hours, the groups had covered a 5.22 mile radius and collected 636 pounds of garbage.

Inside the 50-plus bags collected were more than 600 plastic bottles, over 3,000 bottle covers, some 300 plastic lighters, Styrofoam pieces, and glass bottles.

The initiative was organised through a collaboration with the Jamaica Environment Trust and supported by visitors from the Rotaract Club of Montserrat and the soon-to-be charted club of the Caribbean School of Medical Sciences, Jamaica.

“One of the greatest contributors to the air we breathe and the water we drink is the ocean. Our oceans and shorelines are crucial to everyday lives, yet we don’t take enough care to ensure that it is sustained. This is evident through the improper disposal of our garbage,” said Director of Community Service Ms Toni-Moy Stewart.

She added that some of the most bizarre refuse are found on beaches, and insisted that the onus is on people to preserve and protect the natural habitat for current and future generations.

“You would be surprised at the types of materials that are found on our beaches yearly –from something as simple as a bottle cover to as large as a refrigerator. If we started to take better care of our environment, we would be saving not only our marine life, but also doing good to the human race and its continuity,” Stewart noted.

Annually, the team at Rotaract hosts at least two beach clean-up activities, among other environmental conservation initiatives, as part of efforts to fulfil their mandate for environmental enhancement and development.

Meanwhile, the club was able this year to record each item of trash collected using the Clean Swell application. The app, developed by Ocean Conservancy, immediately feeds the data from the clean-up effort to the Ocean Conservancy’s global ocean trash database. This data deliver a global snapshot of oceanic pollution globally, providing researchers and policymakers insight to inform solutions.