I have a question about all the trash on the beach in front of Royal Palms. Every single morning their beach is completely littered with plastic cups, straws, broken bottles and general trash. Are there any regulations regarding littering for these venues? Imagine what tourists must think walking along the beach. It’s literally a dump. All those plastic straws and cups are being washed into the ocean. It’s unacceptable and the owners should be ashamed. Who can we contact to get this under control?
Auntie’s answer: While I have actually experienced beaches in other countries that could legitimately be called “dumps”, I take your point about keeping our beaches clean. I think most people here take pride in our crystal-clear water and (mostly) pristine beaches, and I also have no patience for anyone who is selfish enough to toss their tin or wrapper onto our white sand rather than carry the rubbish home or walk a few metres to the nearest bin.
To answer your questions, there are regulations prohibiting littering and there is a department you can contact to complain.
First, to the law. Under The Litter Law (1997 Revision) Section 3 (1) says, “Whoever throws down, drops or otherwise deposits and leaves any litter in, into or from a public place in such circumstances as to cause, contribute to or tend to lead to its defacement by such litter is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for six months.”
There is one caveat, though. The littering party can offer a defence of this action in two ways: if it was authorised under law or he or she had the consent of the owner or whoever was in control of the public place. I find both defences odd myself, but there they are in the law.
Section 4 refers to littering on private property without the consent of the owner or occupier, with the same penalties on conviction of $500 or six months in prison.
A DEH official explained, “All complaints received are logged and investigated by DEH staff. Where complaints are substantiated, the DEH take action with the management to resolve the matter.”
The official also pointed out that sometimes properties hire crews to clean up the beaches at certain times during the day, and “Littering of the beaches could be caused by people improperly disposing of their waste as well as litter being ‘brought in or transported’ from another area.”
While both scenarios may be true, it does seem that the litter you are describing is distinctly bar related. The only way to know for sure who the culprits are would be 24/7 monitoring, unless anyone has other suggestions. If someone is caught in the act, I am always up for some public shaming as well.