Climate Action

Video footage shows ‘garbage emergency’ in the Dominican Republic

New footage from the Dominican Republic has highlighted the drastic problem of plastic waste.

  • 23 July 2018
  • Adam Wentworth

New footage from the Dominican Republic has highlighted the drastic problem of plastic waste.

A video released by conservation group Parley for the Oceans shows wave after wave of garbage flowing into Montesinos Beach in the capital Santo Domingo.

Countless numbers of plastic bottles, styrofoam boxes, and mangled waste parts can be seen littering the ocean following a heavy storm in the country.

Parley is currently leading a major clean-up operation at the site with the full support of Santo Domingo’s mayor and government.. 500 workers have collected over 30 tons of waste in the first three days. The work has continued all last week and a public event was organised on Saturday.

Fortunately, Parley has estimated it can reuse six tons of this plastic as other products, such as trainers or sports shirts. The group has previously worked with Adidas to produce over one million shoes made from plastic collected from polluted coastlines.

“Seeing this first hand is absolutely shocking, but what’s worse is that this is not news in Santo Domingo,” said Parley’s Carmen Danae Chamorro from the scene. “This situation happens every time it rains heavily, that’s why it’s important to shine a light on what has been ignored.”

The government and local groups are working on new education programmes to implement a strategy called Air: Avoid: Intercept, Redesign. This seeks to raise awareness, locate the root cause of the problem, and improve recycling infrastructure on the island.

“In the past we sent postcards with magical beaches and palm trees. Now, it's waves of plastic trash. Unless we all act now, future generations won't even believe the postcard scenes ever existed. We are calling for a Material Revolution – plastic has to go,” said Cyrill Gutsch, Founder of Parley.

Credit: Parley