I haven’t been writing too much for various reasons, the #1 being I am tired and my hands hurt. It can be depressing to not just pick up beach trash, but then to come back and write about it, it becomes a never ending story. But I have not stopped picking up beach trash and to tell the truth I do miss it when I am gone. I miss the quiet mornings, I miss the sunrise, the morning people, the little treasures and most of all I miss not being able to rescue all those toys and towels.
Drinking has increased dramatically. Everyday our trash cans are filled with liquor packaging. The parking lots, picnic areas, firepits and beach are filled with broken glass and food wrappers. We have become a nation of junk food!
Added to the mix are the homeless and the ‘People Who Sleep In Cars’. Homeless are a complex issue and while they don’t bother me, picking up after them is annoying. Camping on the beach is prohibited.
Back to trash talking!
I crossed referenced 2018 to 2019. Both years, I didn’t pick up an average of 90 days. I was gone, was lazy or weather was challenging. NOT going out in a major rainstorm! The amount of trash has increased despite more people involved in beach cleans and consumer awareness of plastic pollution.
I attribute the increase in trash to more visitors especially short term vacations rentals in Mission Beach. Vacation Rental Owner could careless about beach trash, I have found. The only thing they seem to care about, is whether the place is rented or not. There are no Beach Conservation Suggestions, no Please Take Care of Our Beaches.. nothing. Most likely because the less rules of behavior, the easier it is to rent. That includes parking restriction and noise abatements.
When people go on vacation all rules of civility seem to go out the window. Overspend, overeat, excessive drinking, trash all over and noise abounds. I live surrounded by Vacation Renters (70%) Nobody (tourists) read the rules, property managers do not care, the police do not enforce and worse yet our City Council does nothing. .Enough of my rant!
This is about 1/10 of the beach trash on my little mile stretch of beach. The Beach Cleaners start at 4:30 am and much of the beach is cleaned up by 5:30 am. Starting in the dark, I miss small items such as Cigarette butts, plastic pieces and small toys.
Interesting to note the increase in plastic bags despite our Bag Ban. Whether that is due to baggies or other plastic wrappings, I don’t know. I do know that reusable bags (which I don’t track) are also left on the beach and or just thrown away.
dA few boogie boards left on the beach.Of other note, the San Diego Styrofoam Ban went into effect in May and you can see how the reduction in Foam Containers (Good news) Unfortunately we have a weak City Council and they reneged on the ban after the Restaurant Association decided to sue San Diego. ‘The lawsuit claims the city did not do an environmental study confirming that the banning of Styrofoam would be good for the environment.’ In San Diego, we have at least 4 other cities that have banned styrofoam. As you can see, the Plastic/ Paper Containers have gone up.
Much of the beach clean, depends on tides and weather. Big Storms and high tides bring in more plastic.
The other part is recycling as much as possible. Due to space and time constraints I do not recycle Capri Drink Pouches, Cigarette Butts, EOS, GOGO Squeeze, RED Cups all available through Terracycle
Burts Bees lip balm is sent back to them. Electronics are recycled through the Goodwill. Ratty towels, blankets and rags go the the Humane Society. Clothing is either re-sold, donated to Homeless, Goodwill, Community Resource Center or even given to any other person in need. Shoes are either kept, given away to Homeless, Goodwill or Randalls Sandals who has a collection bin. Toys are given away for free to whomever. Same with beach chairs, beach mats and the like. The Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook have been a great way to get rid of stuff!
As you can see donations were up in 2019 and I had a lot of garage sales to offset my laundry costs. (About $200/ month) Also, am tracking better. We will see how it all shakes out in 2020.
The reality is 90% of what is on the beach can be recycled and there is absolutely no reason that beach chairs, boogie boards, toys, canopy’s, food, drinks, coolers, towels, clothing, shoes, lighters, lighter fluids, wood, pillows, sheets, blankets, knives (3), flashlights (4 in 2019) pots and pans, plastic dishes, umbrellas, electronic parts are left on the beach. No reason other than people generally speaking do not care. I find that sad.
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