"Well, you don't see that very often," the man in the beach chair said to me as I passed with a handful of garbage. "We should see it more often," I muttered mostly to myself.
Hubby and I went to the beach Saturday night to enjoy the warm weather and check out the sunset. We walked over to one of the beach side restaurants and got a table right at the edge of the restaurant open to the sand. It was a pleasant evening just starting to get chilly as the sun went down, and not too windy. We sat there enjoying the view of the beach, the sunset, and the tourists.
We ordered some oysters, I got a glass of wine and Hubby had a beer. I also ordered a water and made a point to request it without a straw. It was outside of this very restaurant I found so many straws earlier.
To go with the plate of oysters the waitress also brought a basket of saltine crackers, some cocktail sauce, and horseradish. The saltines were wrapped in plastic and they didn't have a good place for us to put the plastic wrappers so it they could have easily blown away in the wind to the ocean. I ended up tucking them back in the basket and under some of the crackers, but I wonder how many plastic wrappers, straws, or napkins end up scattered along the beach in a given day.
After eating we decided to go for a walk along the beach. There was a ton of trash. I couldn't just walk by and not pick it up. So I found a large fountain drink container which I was able to open and fill with a straw, an umbrella tag, and some napkins. I turned around and saw an empty plastic bag so I picked it up and proceeded to collect several bottles of water, other plastic bags and even some caution tape. In another area there was what looked like 4 plastic bags full of beer bottles and styrofoam from lunch. There were still people around the area, so I think it belonged to them, but I can't say for certain. I hope someone came back for it or cleaned it up!
The crazy part about all this trash is Pensacola Beach has many trash cans right on the beach. They are located about halfway between the boardwalk and the waterline and lined up about every 30 yards or so. It's not like they are hidden away.
Some of what I saw was blatant littering (packed up bags of trash), but a lot was sort of incidental littering. The plastic ring from a drink container, the label of a bottle, the plastic bag that probably blew away once it was empty, the tag on the brand new beach chair. Unfortunately it all could end up in the ocean and out to sea where it can harm wildlife. I mean it was there, just feet away from the ocean and people still weren't picking up after themselves.
It was then as I was walking with a bag filled to brim with other people's trash that the man said to me that he didn't see people picking up trash very often. I argue that we should see it more frequently AND do our part to limit that trash to begin with.
Where have you been where you have seen the most litter?
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