By Amélie Augé
Last Saturday (11th October) was the first National Clean Up Day organised by the Falkland Islands Government. Over one hundred people took part in a morning of picking rubbish all around Stanley. Amongst them were five members of SAERI, armed with pretty yellow and blue gloves and large bags, who cleaned up a stretch of 1km of road on the edge of Stanley. Megan, David, Emily, iLaria and Amélie filed up an entire skip in a less than inclement weather (think blizzard really!). But they had a lot of fun nonetheless and Stanley is now a nicer place to walk around. In all, it is estimated that around 40 cubic metres of rubbish were removed by all the volunteers on the day.
Rubbish is not just an offence to the eyes of people walking or driving around. It can also have major impacts on wildlife. Animals, in particular seabirds such as albatross, ingest rubbish floating on the water thinking they are pieces of food. Because they cannot digest it, their stomach filled up with rubbish, can no longer feed and sadly die. With the windy weather of the Falkland Islands, obviously any rubbish let loose will quickly end up in the sea. With such an amazing array of marine wildlife around the Falkland Islands, we certainly do not want this to happen. Ensuring that rubbish are securely contained and not thrown is important. Hopefully with some simple measures less rubbish will fly free around Stanley.
So let’s not litter and do pick up rubbish (in particular if you are on a beach: the last chance to get them before they get to the sea!).