You only have one world, and the world only has one you. But sometimes it seems the world has a seemingly endless supply of plastic and waste. Each day this endless supply stacks higher and higher in our garbage dump which begs the question: what do we do with it? This is a question that many Grenadians are struggling with, and rightfully so, but we can inform ourselves to make the best choice possible. Currently, the conclusion that many islanders are coming to, which may at first glance seem like a great solution, is to burn it. After all, it ignites the waste all the while igniting the joy of that little thrill seeker that lives in all of us. However, something that sadly all too often occurs, the solution is not that simple.
While it may be convenient and fun to watch the black smoke get carried away by the wind, the harm that ensues is far too much. Burning plastic and tyres releases chemicals and toxins such as mercury, furans, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls into the air. And yes, they are as SCARY as they sound. These toxins are known for their power to devastate the reproductive, respiratory, and neurological systems of both animals and humans. Studies have also shown these fumes to be directly related to cancer as well. Then, what is not inhaled settles into the soil to damage the plant life and make its way into the water supply. So whether it is inhaled immediately or swallowed later, these toxins, once released, are relentless. It is not a matter of IF they make their way into your life or immediate environment, but WHEN. But it’s not too late!
There is still time, and now armed with the knowledge of the dangers of burning plastic, we can take it forward for a brighter tomorrow. Not one brighter from the flames of our trash, but brighter from working together to create a healthier, cleaner, and more natural Grenada.