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Potential glass bottle ban at beaches

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Raising the alarm: David LaHuta, vice-president of the Bermuda Volleyball Association, shows off glass he found at Horseshoe Bay while playing with sons Tyler, 2, and Jackson, 5 (Photographs by Akil Simmons)

Environment minister Cole Simons says the Bermuda Government will consider legislation banning glass bottles on beaches if the problem of broken glass persists.

He spoke after several people were reportedly cut by discarded glass on Bermuda’s most popular beach, Horseshoe Bay, after the Cup Match weekend.

The minister reminded the public to dispose of glass responsibly, adding: “The Department of Parks, using a BeachTech groomer, groomed Horseshoe Beach before Cup Match, every day during Cup Match and subsequently twice since that time.

“The appeal for the public’s help in maintaining our public beaches is an important one, and the department is grateful for the role the media plays in publicising this.”

However, no answers were provided when The Royal Gazette asked whether the Department of Parks, under his ministry, would be making immediate efforts to ensure the beach was safe, whether they were considering closing it temporarily, and whether extra trash cans were needed on the beaches.

Mr Simons told us: “The Ministry of the Environment encourages those who enjoy Bermuda’s beaches to use them responsibly and to dispose of glass carefully.

“If the problem of broken glass persists, it may be necessary to consider legislation that will prohibit glass bottles on our beaches.

“We should all treat our beaches as we would treat our own homes and gardens and keep them free of dangerous debris”.

The Bermuda Volleyball Association contacted this newspaper on Thursday to report that their members had found glass littered all over the beach, resulting in two players being injured. One of the injured said he had since heard of further reports of people being cut in the days after Cup Match.

The BVA’s vice-president, David LaHuta, took his two young sons — Tyler, 2, and Jackson, 5 — to Horseshoe Bay yesterday and said glass shards could still be found along the beach.

“Quite frankly, I am disappointed and surprised that the Department of Parks has not yet tried to clean up the beach properly,” he said. “I took my sons there, we were building sand castles, enjoying a beautiful day and not two foot from us I saw more glass. You don’t have to walk far to find it.

“We stayed closer to the surf rather than going to the main portion of the beach — most of the glass is closer to the dunes.

“If Horseshoe is to be promoted as Bermuda’s premier beach then it needs to be treated with the utmost respect.

“Bermuda is known for its pink sand — what good is it if it is covered in glass?” In May, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Public Works produced a “Beach Vision” for the island, charting the direction for development with a focus on five public beaches, including Horseshoe Bay.

The BTA’s website describes Horseshoe Bay Beach as “Bermuda’s premier beach”, saying it offers “literally everything you need to make your beach outing fun, exciting and safe”.

Dumped at beach: David LaHuta, vice-president of the Bermuda Volleyball Association, holds glass he found at Horseshoe Bay (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Public at risk: several people were reportedly cut by discarded glass after the Cup Match holiday (Photograph by Akil Simmons)