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The Harmful Effects of Beach Toys

Saturday, May 12, 2018 12:44
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Whenever I see toxic plastic beach toys left on the beach.. I get pretty pissed off….. They add up fast and there is no excuse for this. Any day I can rescue at least 10 beach toys, broken parts and beach toy packaging from drifting out to sea. In the summer it is very easy to pick up 50 to 75 beach toys in one morning. Right now I am sitting on 400 + beach toys .

Beach Toys 2016 Toys in 2017

Some of these hopefully nice yet clueless people think leaving out their plastic, disposable beach toys out on the beach for others is playing it forward or backward…. Instead it plays right into #plasticpollution. We know you mean well… but if you want to play it forward or backward.. buy someone a taco instead.

A few toys I left on the beach at Belmont Park, San Diego. My wagon was too full to carry more.

The High Tide Trashers are mind-blowing- screwed up people who just pile beach toys up or strew them about and think they are doing you a favor by leaving behind $10-$20.00 worth of beach toys. Most of the time… this ‘do good’ people also include their own trash… for you to to pick up.

Leaving toys from the tide to towel line…. means the dolphins, seals, turtles and whales just get to eat the BPA plastic. The tide comes in and the toys go out and break up and… what do we have, more plastic pollution.

Usually these Litterers include beverage containers, towels, food and food wrappings, including straws. I guess nobody heard about #stopsucking and banning straws. These would have gone out to sea within the next hour as the tide was coming in.

The Guilt Ridden tourists are those who obviously feel guilty by throwing perfectly good and reusable toys. They place their ‘Throwaways’ by trash cans or on the boardwalk. While the thought is good, it doesn’t work that way. These beach toys get run over by people, the garbage collectors and the beach cleaners who mostly do not pick them up. If they do pick them up, they just go into the trash can. Most get broken apart and again, they eventually find their way into the ocean and in animals stomachs. If you want to assuage your litterbug guilt.. pick up more that you used and throw it away in the trash. Most of the umbrellas and beach chairs are broken or damaged so bad, that they will break.

The Tossers just put the toys in the trash can. They do not care, they probably don’t recycle at all. Most of the time in these trash cans are other leavings with include recyclable beverage cans. Many of of the toys are broken, but one can usually pick out 20-50 reusable toys per day during the summer in just the trash cans. 

The litter louts do not pick up the broken pieces from beach toys…. and they break and they break alot. The handles come off the buckets, the bucket breaks in pieces, the shovels break, the stoppers come off the water guns, the bits and pieces of doll clothes, all when combined with fast food packaging lead to a colorful and unnatural water line.

Artists use these these broken pieces of plastic beach toys in art… You can pick up this many pieces of broken toys on a good summer weekend in San Diego.

Bits of broken toys. Artist Steve McPherson has been collecting plastic debris from the North Kent Coast of the UK for 15 years. Broken Toy Beach Trash Art. Artist and image unknown.

It is not just the toys, it is the packaging as well. Beach toys are bungled and enmeshed in white, yellow or blue mesh with a paper or plastic label and 2 pieces of plastic ‘clasps’. The mesh, labels and clasps are all over the beach as well.

Interestingly in Mexico, there are hardly any beach toys left on the beach. Beach toys are precious and rare. Only in ‘throwaway society’s’ such as ours and a few others that beach toys are just another piece of trash. San Diego is not the only city with this problem. In 2015 the Santa Cruz Sentinel ran an article of a woman who collected marine debris, including beach toys for 11 weeks. My house would look like this if not worse.

Santa Cruz Sentinel

In the Netherlands and the UK, wealthier countries, plastic beach toys are just a common.

I don’t have a problem with beach toys, I have a problem with the easily broken- made-in-China- plastic beach toys that people use carelessly. These cheap beach toys are made to be broken.. fast toys…. what else in our throwaway, disposable, fast life style. I have a problem with people who litter. I have a problem with parents that teach their children to be a part of our throwaway nation.

As an FYI, Beach Toys are recyclable and can be tossed in San Diego’s Blue Bins.

Other Resources

Ocean Defenders Hawaii: Article on Plastic Beach Toys

Loom Bands

More Images Available on our Pinterest Board: Beach Trash Art


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