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Hurt by plastic

Published:Sunday | June 22, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The prospective damage to Jamaica's beaches and marine life by plastic is becoming a major concern for players in the tourism industry.

State minister in the tourism ministry, Damion Crawford, in his recent contribution to the 2014-2015 Sectoral Debate, pointed to the detrimental impact by plastic on marine life and the integrity of the land.

"In 1960, plastic was estimated to have contributed one per cent to total solid waste; currently, it contributes over 13 per cent, with the majority being single-use plastic," said Crawford.

"Plastics degrade very slowly; some are estimated to last in the environment for thousands of years. Because of the low density, they also tend to float in water. Hence, plastic discarded in watershed areas, such as East Rural St Andrew, get collected in the rainwater sewers and, due to prolonged intervals between retrieval, they choke these rainwater outlets, contributing to land saturation, landslides and floods," added Crawford, as he pointed to the impact on the lives of the people he represents.