Reader’s Opinion: Beach bins

POSTED: 02/15/13 1:45 PM

It is with great pleasure that I learned of the initiative by the Department of Tourism, Epic, St. Maarten Pride and the Ministry of Vromi/ Public Works to place garbage bins along the beaches of Mullet Bay and Kim Sha beach. For years these beaches, which belong to some of our most beautiful and most visited, have had to contend with large amounts of garbage and refuse due to there not being adequate cleanup of or opportunities for the disposal of waste at the beaches.

The Nature Foundation and her sister organizations have continuously lamented the fact that the garbage, other than being an eyesore for visitors and residents alike, also has significant impacts for not only the environment but also for public health and safety, particularly along the beaches. These include infestation of pests along the beaches, more particularly ants and rats, the control of which the Nature Foundation is now researching. This also includes skin and ear infections and gastro-intestinal diseases. So with that in mind I would like to express my sincerest congratulations and deepest gratitude, on behalf of myself personally and on behalf of the Nature Foundation, for this much needed and long-overdue initiative.

As a conservation organization we urge all to use the bins which have been placed there for your benefit. Hopefully this is a new chapter on St. Maarten with regards to holistic ecosystem and waste management where waste, and in particular plastic waste, is kept from our beaches and from entering the ecosystem. Not only for the benefit of the turtles, fish, birds and other animals that call our beaches and our waters home, but for us St. Maarteners and those fortunate enough to visit our wonderful island.

So once again on behalf of the board and staff of the St. Maarten Nature Foundation we would like to say thank you for this great initiative and we urge all citizens to make use of the bins to keep St. Maarten the clean and beautiful island it is.

Tadzio Bervoets

St. Maarten Nature Foundation



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