Saturday, June 11, 2011

week 6 Susan zone 3--recycling, hoels and plastic

Hi Ginger,

It is so interesting to me to see how the beach changes each Friday morning that I go. This morning, there were a lot of people walking, running, and lounging, even as early as 6:00 am. The sand seemed particularly hot, dry and powdery, which I am sure has something to do with our extreme lack of rain lately.

Today I collected 3 bags of trash and one large bag of recyclables (one large bag converts into 4 bags making Susan's total bags = 7).  There was a very high concentration of litter right next to Johnnie Mercer's Pier; I collected one whole bag of trash there alone, most of which consisted of snack wrappers and chip bags. 

The bulk of what I picked up today was plastic water and Gatorade bottles-- I found a total of 15 of these. At one moment I looked out across the high tide line and could just see plastic shimmering in the sand. Conversely, I found only one glass beer bottle and a few beer cans, which is drastically less than normal. I can only assume that this is due to the very hot weather.

One thing I observed today is that there seemed to be several areas where people had just sat down, smoked 5-10 cigarettes, and stuck the butts right in the sand like an ashtray. 

Ugh. This makes me concerned not only for these individuals' blatant disregard of the environment but also for their personal health. Another thing I observed today is that the vast majority of the items in the trashcans were Rita's cups, aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Of course, I am grateful that these items made it into the trashcans and were not left on the beach. But it seems like a real shame that all of this is going in trash when the vast majority of it is recyclable. I really do think that people would use recycling bins for cans and plastic if they were right alongside the trash cans.

The most interesting thing I found today was a very deep hole with a sea turtle sand sculpture right next to it. I am not sure if this qualifies as irony or just deserves a facepalm.

-Susan Miller

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