Tourism flourishes in the Caribbean but the amount of plastic that keeps washing up on its beaches is a matter of concern. It destroys not only the beauty of the “unspoiled natural paradise” but poses a major risk to the marine animals and the birds. They get entangled in the web of plastic waste and perish. Therefore, the authorities have launched drives to clean the litter manually by deploying teams of people.

Sky News reports that in the opinion of an official of Santo Domingo local authority, there is no secret about the origin of the problem.

The plastic waste originates in Santo Domingo and the nearby province of Monte Plata.

Clean-up operation in the Caribbean

The volume of plastic accumulating on the beaches is mindboggling and the local administration is tackling the issue on a war footing by deploying troops of the Dominican Republic on the clean-up operation. The exercise is of unimaginable proportions and the amount of waste that gets added daily is several times more than what is being removed from the scene.

The Caribbean troops are working hand in hand with conservationists, local government agencies and residents to clean the unwanted trash that harms marine lives. Animals and birds consume these items and die. There have been instances of plastic waste causing the death of enormous animals like whales.

The possible dangers cannot be ignored because the plastic is a non-biodegradable substance and upsets the ecological balance. Oceans campaigner Lewis Pugh wants to raise awareness about the evils of plastic pollution. He plans to swim the 350 miles from Land's End to Dover to promote the need for conservation.

Magnitude of the problem

Beaches in the Caribbean attract tourists but the amount of plastic that washes up is not a pleasant sight. The authorities have initiated efforts to bring back the clean surroundings. According to the TRT World, a team of conservationists from the Parley group has taken up the task of removing the eyesore from the beaches.

The team is working with the local navy, Santo Domingo authorities and residents and have, so far, removed nearly 60 tonnes of plastic. People have been recruited for the clean-up but the speed of removal is no match for the arrival of fresh trash.

This is not a problem for only the Dominican Republic, but environmentalists say it is a major global issue. The environmental group, Parley, estimates that there are trillion pieces of plastic in the oceans and their total weight could be more than 250,000 tonnes. The worst part is that the figure keeps increasing every moment.