Staff of the Ministry of Planning are hard at work cleaning up the Foreshore on February 11.

A data-gathering exercise led and organized by the Environmental Policy and Planning Division (EPPD) of the Ministry collected close to forty bags of garbage along the Foreshore amounting to 630 pounds in two hours. Details follow in this press release from the Ministry of Planning and Development:

Ministry of Planning and Development’s team collected close to 40 bags of trash at the Foreshore during a clean-up and data collection exercise on February 11.

630 pounds.  This is the total weight of garbage collected in 2 hours by a team of 10 from the Ministry of Planning and Development along the Foreshore in Port of Spain on Friday February 11, 2022.

This was a data gathering exercise led and organized by the Environmental Policy and Planning Division (EPPD) of the Ministry and 10 members of staff were selected to ensure safety protocols were observed.  The EPPD sought to collect data on the amount of garbage that accumulated at the Foreshore to complete records for the year 2021 as part of a broader International Coastal Clean-up project which is part of a global initiative by the NGO Ocean Conservancy in which groups come together to carry out beach clean-ups and record data on garbage along the coastline all around the world. 

Staff of the Ministry of Planning are hard at work cleaning up the Foreshore on February 11.

The Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development (CNIRD), is the national coordinator for the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup in Trinidad and Tobago and is supported every year by the Planning Ministry.  The last clean-up was conducted in 2019 due to the global pandemic.

The data collated by the  Ministry of Planning revealed that 199 pounds of plastic were collected, 402 pounds of miscellaneous items which includes paper, cans, textiles and Styrofoam and 29 pounds of glass.  The teams, which consisted of three persons each, also noted a large number of items such as suitcases and other items of luggage, discarded shoes, parts of home appliances such as televisions and fans, skates and other toys and construction items along the 200 to 300 metre stretch of the Foreshore.  The team also noted that in the short space of time approximately 1755 plastic bottles were collected. 

Dr. David Persaud, Environmental Manager in the EPPD asked citizens to “Dispose of waste in a proper manner and stop dumping garbage in the nation’s coastal areas and rivers”. 

Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis sent the reminder that new laws have been passed and will be in effect from this year.  According to the Minister, the Waste Management Rules, 2021 and the Waste Management (Fees) Regulations, 2021 have been laid in Parliament and will come into operation on May 31, 2022, these rules apply to the generation, processing, treatment, packaging, storage, transportation, collection, disposal, recovery, recycling or other activities related to the treatment of waste other than radioactive waste.  The Rules are intended to support the control of waste disposal methods while reducing waste pollution in Trinidad and Tobago.

Minister Robinson-Regis also indicated that the Environmental Management Authority has also established the Air Pollution Rules, 2014 and the Water Pollution Rules, 2019.  In addition, the National Environmental Policy of Trinidad and Tobago (NEP) also articulates the priorities determined by the people of Trinidad and Tobago, through consultation, as critical to achieving environmental sustainability and ultimately, sustainable development.

The Ministry of Planning and Development is committed to its environmental portfolio and is doing work in the areas of biodiversity, ozone management, climate change, marine conservation and more to ensure that the environment is at the ‘Centre of social and economic development’ as stated in the National Development Strategy: Vision 2030 and that Environmental Pride continues to be National Pride.