A 500 strong team of conservationists, locals and the navy has cleared around 60 tonnes of plastic. But the waves of rubbish washed up on the shores every day. The problem could affect tourism to the island, as well as endanger marine and bird life.

Workers from the Ministry of Public Works and Comunication (MOPC), collect garbage from the beaches of Güibia, Montesino and next to the female Obelisk in the Malecon area, in Santo Domingo on July 16, 2018.
Workers from the Ministry of Public Works and Comunication (MOPC), collect garbage from the beaches of Güibia, Montesino and next to the female Obelisk in the Malecon area, in Santo Domingo on July 16, 2018. (AFP)

The Dominican Republic is cleaning up up tonnes of plastic that has spoilt its Caribbean shores, as authorities try to stem the tide of pollution washing up daily.

Workers from the Ministry of Public Works and Comunication (MOPC), collect garbage from the beaches of Güibia, Montesino and next to the female Obelisk in the Malecon area, in Santo Domingo on July 16, 2018.
Workers from the Ministry of Public Works and Comunication (MOPC), collect garbage from the beaches of Güibia, Montesino and next to the female Obelisk in the Malecon area, in Santo Domingo on July 16, 2018. (AFP)

A team of conversationists from the Parley group has been working with the local navy, Santo Domingo authorities and locals for the job. According to officials, they have already scooped an estimated 60 tonnes of plastic.

Workers from the Ministry of Public Works and Comunication (MOPC), collect garbage from the beaches of Güibia, Montesino and next to the female Obelisk in the Malecon area, in Santo Domingo on July 16, 2018.
Workers from the Ministry of Public Works and Comunication (MOPC), collect garbage from the beaches of Güibia, Montesino and next to the female Obelisk in the Malecon area, in Santo Domingo on July 16, 2018. (AFP)

More than 500 people have been recruited for the job but waves of new plastic trash appear on a daily basis.

Workers from the Ministry of Public Works and Comunication (MOPC), collect garbage from the beaches of Güibia, Montesino and next to the female Obelisk in the Malecon area, in Santo Domingo on July 16, 2018.
Workers from the Ministry of Public Works and Comunication (MOPC), collect garbage from the beaches of Güibia, Montesino and next to the female Obelisk in the Malecon area, in Santo Domingo on July 16, 2018. (AFP)

The Dominican Republic is a tourist hotspot that is famous for its golden Caribbean beaches and unspoilt natural paradise. The waves of plastic not only damage the reputation of the island nation but could kill marine and bird life who become entangled in the trash.

Workers from the Ministry of Public Works and Comunication (MOPC), collect garbage from the beaches of Güibia, Montesino and next to the female Obelisk in the Malecon area, in Santo Domingo on July 16, 2018.
Workers from the Ministry of Public Works and Comunication (MOPC), collect garbage from the beaches of Güibia, Montesino and next to the female Obelisk in the Malecon area, in Santo Domingo on July 16, 2018. (AFP)

Not just a problem for the Dominican Republic, environmentalists say plastic is emerging as a major issue for seas and oceans across the world. Environmental group Parley estimates that at least 5 trillion pieces of plastic weighing over 250,000 tonnes are flowing in the world's oceans.

Source: Reuters