Saipan Tribune talked to some of the International Coastal Cleanup volunteers this year, where they shared their thoughts on several issues related to trash—why beach cleanups are important, what they would ask legislators to do to help, and their message to the community.
“There should be a fine for any littering and then for those who smoke, they should have their own place. The greatest gift that we have here is the beach, so we have to clean it up. Stop throwing trash, look for trash cans.”
—Roxanne Soriano, Marianas Ploggers
“This is a very important moment for the tourism industry as we are opening up and welcoming tourists back right now. We believe that we need to take environmental stewardship seriously so we can proudly present the beautiful beaches of Saipan to visitors. Also, it is a fun time for our employees, too! We have adopted two sites: PauPau for Kensington and PakPak for PIC. This is our second ICC. We’ve joined in 2019. Kensington and PIC have been doing their own beach cleanups besides the ICC initiative.”
—Lindsay Ahn, E-Land Group
“With every bill that the Legislature passes in regards to trash, our biggest problem is enforcement. The best thing we can do is figure out a way to help the people that are enforcing all these trash regulations, or whoever that is tasked with picking up trash, maybe [we can] give them incentives. I think if we can give them incentives, that will be helpful for these guys because everybody needs money—both private sector, government, people who can do that. I think that will spark an interest for people to pick up trash.
“If you want your island clean, please take your trash and dump it at the proper dump site, or bring it home and throw it in your trash. Let’s not…make our Marianas ugly. We want this to be clean for future generations, so that we can preserve the pristine nature of what we have. Without that, pretty soon, we’re just [going to] be almost like the mainland where they don’t have anything. We can do our due diligence right now, it will pay off in the end.”
—Jovano Taitano, Marianas Outrigger
“Pick up after yourselves, just be aware, and always carry more out than you take in. …It is always important for us to keep our environment clean. It makes it more beautiful and it makes it more attractive to us and our tourists, and it keeps the rodents and other things down. If we keep everything cleaned up, it’s just impacts everything that we do and how we live.”
—Janice Stanley, PHI Pharmacy
“Our ocean suffers from marine debris. A lot of our marine animals are consuming plastics, millions and millions of micro plastics each year. It’s important that we keep our ocean clean because we rely on our marine life for food source. It’s not only a problem in the ocean, it’s also a problem on land. We need to reduce plastic waste and make sure that we pick up after ourselves.
“I would ask our legislators to have a bill that we ban plastic wastes. We could try to practice reducing plastic wastes so that way, we can help not only our island but the world. I see a lot of businesses out there really trying to practice having compostable takeout containers, and reusable containers, and that helps us reduce plastic wastes.
“I see a lot of our young generation very eager to keep our island clean and I’m so proud of them. I’m very happy, because it’s actually about our future now. And so, [my message] for our community [is] to keep helping out. Let’s take care of our world, our island, especially.”
—Laurina Sebaklim, MINA Tasi ranger