Every time you see trash on the ground, it’s safe the say that it could make its way to the beach and into the ocean. Let that sink in. All the cigarette butts, styrofoam containers, straws, plastic cups, and plastic utensils you see littered along the streets eventually make their way onto our beaches. These items, among many other things like syringes and even old clothing, are items we find every beach cleanup that we participate in. What is the worst piece of trash that NEVER goes away? Styrofoam. Beach cleanup volunteers spend hours picking tiny styrofoam particles out of the seaweed to ensure that it doesn’t make its way into the ocean. All the trash is polluting our oceans and our sea creatures are ingesting it. The trash is wreaking havoc on the environment and humans are the direct cause. So, how long does it take for trash to break down in the ocean once it has made its way there? Check out this infographic from Coastal Playground:
Four of those items are things we find every beach cleanup and seeing how long it takes from them to break down is noteworthy. The time it takes a banana peel to break down (two to five weeks) is how long it SHOULD take for things to degrade in nature. Think about that next time you see someone littering and say no to plastic straws and styrofoam takeaway containers.
Our last beach cleanup on Saturday, June 10, with Coastal Playground and Orange County Coastkeeper was a huge success! We collected 260 pounds of trash in Huntington State Beach. Thanks to all of our volunteers, we cared for our beach and helped preserve it.
Do you want to volunteer at our next beach cleanup? Meet us at Calafia Beach in San Clemente on July 1st from 9AM- 11 AM, details can be found here.