Plastic waste disposal is one of the biggest issues our oceans face today. Some of the most pristine beaches of the Caribbean that are famous tourism spots have floating plastic waste and garbage that’s neglectfully dumped in the ocean. The problem is so prevalent that some of the islands have also been called ‘trash islands’ at times. This is not to diminish the beauty of the Caribbean Islands, but to address the serious issue of plastic waste, littering and reckless behavior that’s leading to a serious endangerment of precious wildlife and marine life, as well as destructive climate changes. Although awareness is actively spread and a fair share of organizations are doing their part to limit the problem, the campaigning needs to reach out to masses and even to those who don’t have access to digital or print media. Every individual needs to play their role in reducing dangers to our island ecosystem.
Plastic Waste in Roatan and its Impact
Roatan is a tropical paradise with clear blue seas and pearly white shorelines. It’s a shame to notice the tide of plastic waste that washes in every now and then, and we can only imagine what kind of damage it does to the marine life. This is not industrial trash, but things like plastic bags, single-use plastic bottles, disposable cutlery items, and packaging material that are a result of negligence by neighboring islands, countries, locals and tourists.
Some people believe that a lot of the plastic found on Roatan’s shorelines is coming from the Motagua River of Guatemala, and brought to Roatan via ocean currents. As Roatan is relatively a tiny island with a small local community, it can be challenging to carry out a manual clean up task everyday. Not to mention that this issue takes away from the real island experience, especially when visitors want to enjoy water activities such as diving and snorkeling.
Beach Clean Ups
As mentioned above, the first step forward is awareness. Roatan has many brilliant local communities and organizations that are now actively campaigning in partnership with bigger programs to address garbage issues and bring them to everyone’s attention. There are projects and programs carried out almost on a daily and weekly basis, and the local businesses actively participate. There are a lot of things that can be done to support these programs and to play your part as an individual.
Change begins with small steps, and the most important thing to do is to be a responsible tourist when visiting Roatan. To maintain the local ecosystem, limit your use of plastic and taking special care not to litter. You can show your support by donating or buying local goods, especially from the businesses that produce community-based sustainable and eco-friendly products like WIld Roatan, our profits go towards beach cleanups, and even as a tourist, you can volunteer with our programs and have a truly amazing experience during your trip to Roatan.