A beach litter survey was conducted as a part of the ongoing collaboration between the Department of the Environment (DOE) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) under the Commonwealth Litter Programme (CLiP), a programme funded by the Government of the United Kingdom.

The survey was conducted at six beaches during June 2019. The results of the survey show that 70% of the litter was comprised of the following six types:

Plastic pieces (<50 cm) – 36.8%
Polystyrene (Styrofoam) (<50 cm) – 12.3%
Bottle caps and lids – 9.3%
Bottle glass – 5%
Water bags – 3.4%
Snack wrappers and chips bag – 3.4%

These and other research findings along with several challenges facing Belize regarding marine litter and waste management will be discussed at a National Workshop for the Development of a Marine Litter and Waste Management Policy and Action Plan. The workshop will be held on 11th & 12th July 2019 at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, Belize City.

The two-day workshop, targeting leaders and policymakers from government departments, civil society and private sector, will aid in the development and implementation of a national policy and actions to address and reduce marine litter and strengthen waste management in Belize. Participants will build upon outcomes (challenges and actions) developed during the Targeted Stakeholder Workshops held from 1st to 4th July 2019.

Development of the National Marine Litter and Waste Management Policy and Action Plan is part of the DOE’s mandate to reduce and control marine pollution; and the commitment and on-going activities of the Ministry with responsibility for the environment to reduce plastic pollution in the marine environment, thus ensuring a clean and healthy environment for all Belizeans.