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Resting Beach Face

Nothing can prepare you for how much of your own life you see scattered across the beach. Bottle caps, cotton wool bud sticks, plastic bags, hair clips, containers, toothbrushes, hair clips, lids of all kinds, pieces so mangled and distorted you can’t tell what they used to be.

What really gets me is the fact that each and every single item that was collected from the beach today, was manufactured to design specifications created by human beings. Yet here we are, the very same species hours, days, weeks, months or maybe years after it was discarded, cleaning up the mess of our own kind. There are so many human hands and minds involved in the process of creating plastic products. It boggles my mind that these kinds of materials are still used. The human beings that are involved in the design and manufacturing process might not agree with what they are producing, but they have mouths to feed, they have bills to pay and it’s not their fault that this destructive process is legal.

Today in particular as we were hunched over in the rain, today I had an emotional shift. I won’t take it anymore. We need to do more than clean up beaches. We need to integrate the people who regulate this kind of production as to why these materials are still used? Why isn’t funding being put towards research for alternative products? Why are you choosing to be blind to such an important issue?

If this beach is clear for two days due to our efforts, what have we really achieved? Have we raised awareness? Will more people do the same? It extinguishes my morale because we could be cleaning beaches until we die. If the people who regulate the industry keep allowing such a destructive substance to be used.

You can read testimony after testimony, story after story, thread after thread. Bu until you see it with your own eyes you can still pretend to be blind. It might mean giving up some of your most favourite consumables in an effort to make a stand. This is scary. We have grown so used to the idea that we can have whatever we want at the click of a button. Is keeping this luxury really worth the health of the planet and future generations? I won’t be able to sleep at night unless I KNOW that I am doing something constructive to help the situation. Mother Nature doesn’t need our help, she will be fine. It’s the ideals of our species that we need to redefine.

I feel emotionally drained from what I have seen today. I’ve done beach cleans before but today’s really got to me. I feel like I took a huge step back and witnessed our situation like an out of body experience. I will legitimately change the way I shop and consume I have already shifted to different ways of shopping and consuming but more needs to be done.

We have this knowledge; we know the right thing to do. Now is the time to make the change.

I am so lucky to be involved in a game changing event. My friend Oly Rush is going to swim around the entire island of Grand Cayman. I will be helping to organise the entire event from the moment he lands until he leaves. We are aiming to raise awareness about the issue of plastic pollution to the point where government officials take note and do something about it. I believe that the Cayman Islands has a huge influence in the Caribbean, if we don’t see a domino effect, I will be incredibly surprised.

Oly has been doing massive swims for the last few years as can be seen on his website this one will be utterly ridiculous. Around 65 miles, 104 km over 30 hours. I will be by his side as a support kayaker for as much of the distance as I am allowed.

This swim hopes to raise money and awareness for Plastic Free Cayman, fundraising events, school visits, haircuts and much more. We are educating locals so that they can make a choice armed with information. We want to empower people so that they can in turn teach future generations how important this issue is. It is only in my lifetime that the situation has been seen to be out of control. How scary is that? We’ve known about the issue for decades, but nothing has really been done to achieve global consensus.

It is sad that even if governments outlawed single use plastic tomorrow, I don’t believe the ocean will recover in my lifetime. But what does bring me hope is that in a lot of cultures, environmental consciousness is starting to be taught from a young age. If only greed and consumerism could be unlearned from societies, then the environment might have a fighting chance. 

Use your power as a consumer to stop purchasing products that adversely affect the environment. Do your research, find alternatives. The cost to you now is not nearly as great as losing the diverse species of the ocean. 

In the meantime, I will keep cleaning beaches and I will keep raising awareness. That’s all I can do. What can you do?

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Laura Captain
    April 27, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    And I’ll just add, it’s irritating and disgusting to see any kind of litter anywhere. One huge part of the problem is inconsiderate, lazy people simply throwing their trash on the ground or in the water and not putting it in a garbage can. Some people just don’t care and think they can do whatever they want, it’s a shame.

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