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Sea of garbage

by Susi, 28 October 2013


Look carefully. It appears most of the beached flotsam is organic; leaves, brush, seaweed, etc. This kind of organic material accumulates naturally on beaches. In fact, the banks of driftwood and organic stuff that are swept ashore following storms are an important part of coastal ecosystems. They become living parts of the back of beaches, the medium that supports healthy coastal vegetation, trees, swamps, estuaries, and shoreline SOIL/EARTH. If the normal organic flotsam that accumulates on beaches is removed the coastal ecosystem is compromised permanently. One of the most obvious effects is BEACH EROSION. Sandbars (surf breaks), estuary structure and habitat are also compromised/destroyed.

Organic matter should be left alone on beaches. But the problem here is the plastic and other “real garbage” that’s all mixed into it. So what to do?
Cleaning up a beach is a lot more difficult and problematic than it may seem. To remove (bulldoze) everything is a mistake, that will eventually destroy the beach and the rest of the coastal ecosystem, above and below tideline. The solution:

1 – AVOID PRODUCING WASTE IN THE FIRST PLACE (plastic packaging, bags, “disposable” products, etc, etc, etc).


3 – KNOW that the “convenience” of plastic packaging, and other future-garbage stuff is a FALSE SENSE OF CONVENIENCE.

It is very inconvenient to try to pick it out again from the life and beach sustaining stuff it gets all mixed up with later. So inconvenient that I doubt anyone will ever do it.

I suggest that all consumers bring their own reusable bags and jars to the supermarket, drug store, hardware store, department store, etc. While waiting to pay, unpack all the products you are buying, transfer them to your own bags and containers, then leave the packaging at the store for them, to deal with. This will quickly impact the upstream all the way to producers, and a tremendous amount of waste and destruction will stop all by itself. Quickly.

If that is “inconvenient” think a little harder. Truth often seems “inconvenient” at first glance, but turns out to be far more beneficial and convenient thereafter. Don’t be fooled by fake convenience. Refuse disposable packaging before it even gets out of the store.

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