Dominican Republic Drowning In Plastic?

Santo Domingo.

On Friday, Environment Minister, Ángel Estévez issued a warning to business leaders.

We must reduce the use of plastics in the Dominican Republic. This message I am telling the entrepreneurs, prepare yourself because one day you will stop using plastics in the Dominican Republic.

This is a serious problem that we have to face. We can not sit idly by, we have to change this model that is leading us to drown in trash.

Estevez made these statements while observing the cleanup of tons of trash from the Ozama river at a Malecon beach. He lamented the fact that the streets fill with tons of plastic waste every time there is a heavy rain. This problem will only get worse unless there is a change in the method of handling the mountains of plastic waste that are currently out of control. A big part of that change will happen with education.

The world is waking up to the fact that all the convenient plastic packaging, dinnerware, straws, wrappers and other throw-away plastics are winding up in our rivers and oceans. New evidence of gigantic “gyres” and plastic-polluted beaches in remote regions stresses the fact that we need to have a new way of disposing of and using fewer plastics.

Something needs to change, and quickly, to be sure that the Dominican Republic is not buried in plastic waste. Legislation and regulations limiting plastic use will help, but new innovative systems need to be implemented for waste disposal.

Waste-to-Energy facilities utilizing UHTH Technology can be a great part of the solution. The other part is up to the people, who need to know the facts about plastic wastes. We now know that microplastics are entering our food chain and being consumed by the animals we eat. There is not enough information to know what adverse effects may be caused to human health.

We need to protect the environment and provide clean safe beaches for our residents and to sustain our tourism industry, a vital part of the economy.

See article and photo on Dominican Today News