Did you know that 5.25 trillion pieces of trash, 269 000 tonnes, are distributed across the global ocean? Much of this marine debris is composed of everyday items like flip-flops, bottles, caps, cigarette lighters, yogurt cups, food trays, cling foil, plastic bags, tin foil, bits of beach ball, deflated balloons, fruit and veg carrier bags, strapping and old fishing gear – unfortunately a lot of what makes up beach litter is also what makes a picnic, day at the beach or fishing trip so enjoyable. However, a day’s garbage needn’t stay on the beach after we have left it! With just a little bit of thought and a whole LOT of caring we can leave the beach as clean as we hopefully found it!!
So what can we do to turn the tide on ocean trash? For starters after spending a day at the beach we can use refuse bins to deposit our litter or take every single piece of garbage home with us, no matter how small. This includes bits of deflated balloon; broken fishing line or fishing reels; bits of food containers; cigarette butts etc. Remember to leave only footprints and take only photographs!!
A great idea is to start an Adopt-a-Beach programme at a local school or in your community with regular beach clean-ups. Organise educational programmes that involve school children so they can learn the importance of not littering and create or support art initiatives that use recycled plastic items. These are just some ideas to start with. I’m sure you have others. The ocean and wonderful sea creatures like sea turtle, Bob, will thank you! I will too!!