Feb 24, 2017

We Should See THIS More Often

beach clean up litter

"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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beach cleanup litter


  1. You are SO right. I often bring home anything I can recycle, such as smashed aluminum cans found in parking lots. We also bring home our recycleables when we travel, if there are no facilities in the area where we are staying. My husband thinks I'm crazy, but I feel so strongly about recycling, that I can't just throw the stuff away, knowing it's going to the landfill. We used to be part of a county organization called "Adopt-a-Road", where 4 times a year, we would pick up trash on a designated road that was assigned to our family. I believe they have these all over the country. It's very rewarding, although it's hard to see how much carelessness there is in folks just tossing stuff out of their car windows. Good on ya for doing the right thing!

    1. It is crazy how much people can litter! I understand that some things fly away in the wind, but we should all be working towards picking that up. I'm so pleased to hear you were involved with Adopt-a-Road, they do some great things. Thanks and keep up the good work too!

  2. Where I live in rural France we do see litter but nothing like the amount that I see when I go back to the UK. It makes me so sad as I get off the ferry and the roadside verges are more litter than grass in some places. We need some serious changes to the mindsets of the public who all too often think either they are not responsible or that it is some-one else's problem to sort out. We are all responsible. #WasteLesWednesday

    1. I've heard France has made a great effort to reduce disposables and affect the culture, sounds like it is making an impact. Now we just need to spread that reusable mindset everywhere!