World champion and record holding Caymanian free diver Tanya Streeter, whose feature role in the film ‘A Plastic Ocean’ inspired a petition to ban plastic bags in Cayman, is calling on Cayman’s leaders to put politics aside and be a leader on environmental issues.
“The film is a catalyst for change, the idea that it’s been so well received here for me is just humbling and so gratifying,” said Ms. Streeter.
Cayman 27 caught up with Ms. Streeter at a meeting of the Cayman Freediving Association Tuesday night, where she described being moved by the ripple effects of ‘A Plastic Ocean.’
“I’m thrilled that there’s been such an embracing of the film, and to know that a plastic bag ban here is in the works, that gives me chills just thinking about it,” said Ms. Streeter.
Ms. Streeter applauded local activists like Claire Hughes. Ms. Hughes’ petition to ban single-use plastic bags in Cayman has exceeded 1,500 signatures. Ms. Streeter told Cayman 27 these actions are helping to shine the spotlight on a major issue.
“I haven’t even met her yet, I’m just so excited that there’s that kind of passion on the island, because that’s what’s going to make things happen, and make change happen,” said Ms. Streeter.
She said change can be as simple as saying no to plastics in everyday situations.
“It’s really important that people understand the power that they have as individuals, as consumers, to refuse plastics, and to reduce the amount they use, to reuse what they have, to recycle what they have,” said Ms. Streeter.
Ms. Streeter is calling on Cayman’s newly-formed government to take a forward-thinking stance on single-use plastics.
“Do you want to be a Blockbuster Video when Netflix streaming? We can get ahead of this problem as a country,” said Ms. Streeter.
She told Cayman that legislative action can position Cayman as a leader on this environmental issue, but politics must be pushed aside.
“I would like to think that our new minister for the environment will listen to what people want, but then also, take a look back, and look at what the country needs,” she said.
On Tuesday (6 June) Premier Alden McLaughlin named Dwayne ‘John John’ Seymour Environment Minister.