Today I saw a tweet by the Police of Puerto Rico communicating to every responsible citizen to bring bags for their trash and make sure they take the trash back home.
Camino a la playa con la familia? No olvide llevar una bolsa de basura. Pásela bien y mantenga la playa limpia. pic.twitter.com/mwpkd87FWP
— Policía Puerto Rico (@PRPDNoticias) July 4, 2014
The biggest problem is that the authorities find it easier to take this approach and preach to the choir than actually do something about it when it is in front of their eyes.
Few adhere to local beach laws
While living on the beach, I can confirm that only a small fraction of the population picks up after themselves and even fewer take their trash home to dispose of that trash properly.
As I write this, it’s 8:00 a.m. and there are people already drunk with pitched tents (actually illegal to set up) and speakers which are probably more appropriate for a reggaeton event, not the beach.
A Simple Solution
If the cops had the proper support from politicians and authorities, they could start giving fines to everyone violating the current laws of non-alcoholic beverages on the beach and leaving no trash behind. In very little time, people will think twice about bringing stuff they can’t take back and if they continue to do it, they become an income source for the government instead of an expense.
When in Rome
This problem amplifies itself when tourists walk through our beaches and see the locals trash the beautiful beaches of our island. Some of them join in the habit of throwing trash on the beach and being publicly intoxicated not knowing the risks. I have seen tourists get mugged, alerted the police, and the cops have their hands tied in how much they can do with the current laws.
Volunteering comes with a price
A few weeks ago I saw how groups of volunteers and contractors (paid by the government) cleaned up the mess from “La Noche de San Juan”. An environmentalist was injured while documenting the trash on the beach by a vehicle who was there hauling the trash off the beach. Some of the drunks were actually giving those cleaning a hard time, while the cops and press observed and did nothing to protect those doing a good deed.
Income from the Pigs v.s. an Expense
We need to fix the problem in others ways than just running campaigns that cost money the government does not have. Why not flip the situation around and create an income opportunity for our almost bankrupt government by making those who decide to trash the place pay.
When our politicians and authorities decide to work together and find ways to limit expenses, then our island will be in a much better place. But then again Colonial Sickness Causes Delusions on Celebrating Independence.
If you can share this post and share your thoughts on other possible solutions it would mean a lot to me.
Bonus: Sound Pollution and More
The image below was taken today, July 4th, 2014, when I observed how locals violated many laws by bringing cars on the beach and setting up equipment that will blast music to everyone on and near the beach, possibly without a permit.