Beach Trash

One day last week I was amazed to find so much trash on the beach and the walkway up from the beach. I pick up glass when I walk the beach because my walking companion Eva and I walk barefoot. So I do this to help myself as much as anyone else who happens to be walking. Cutting the bottom of my foot would put me pretty much out of business when it comes to doing anything because, without a car, we walk almost everywhere.

Here are some pictures of what I found in one 45 minute walk: diapers, plastic bags both large and small, Styrofoam plates, plastic cups, lids and utensils, a bag of chicken feathers and a bag of someone’s shellfish remains.

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During carnival I walked our beach every day. Joe and I went there with a garbage bag and brought back a great deal of trash and left it for our trash men to pick up. We have several platforms and cages along the main road into town where folks from the houses above can place their garbage. It should not be a hardship while visiting here to take trash to one of these containers and leave the beach as beautiful as you found it. There is no excuse for garbage to be left on the beach – our trash is picked up at a minimum twice a week and some weeks they come by three times. And when there is a holiday or festival, they come by the next day to clean up the town.

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Be kind to the folks following you here and for those of us who call San Clemente our home and do not leave your garbage on our beautiful beach.

11 thoughts on “Beach Trash

  1. i was surprised that your beach is that clean! during the rainy season i see the debris that washes down the river, and i’ve seen that in costa rica as well. of course the debris swims around in the ocean until it decides to spit it out wherever it chooses. i was told in costa rica that much of the beach trash comes from ships far out in the ocean who throw their trash overboard. i don’t know how to confirm this or what could be done to help stop that practice.

    i always pick up glass as well. long long ago, my sister and i were racing, and sliced my foot – – – that broke me from running barefooted forever!!!

    thanks for doing beach maintenance over there!

    • Hi Lisa, When the river, at the Boca in San Jacinto is high, we do get a great deal of trash but it is mostly organic — trees, tree limbs, vegetation, pods from the mangroves etc. When living in Playas the trash that washed up on shore was wood and bamboo with nails in it, styrofoam, bottles, plastics of all shapes and sizes, lids and tops from containers, medical waste, animal parts…it was gross…I prefer our beach debris as it is organic, the municipality comes by and cleans it up and even some of our own expats do their share and collect driftwood for bonfires on the beach for get-togethers. Most of what I have seen and photographed here has been left by folks on the beach it is not coming in from the ocean…hope you are well, Nancy & Joe

      • whenever i see the muni scooping up the driftwood and hauling it away – or someone burning it, i say, “NOOOOOOO! you’re burning a future sofa — or a chair — or a walking cane — or some future work of art from playamart!!!! my friends laugh, of course, but i’m serious!!!

        the driftwood also helps hold back erosion…


        • Z, I personally only pick up glass and human garbage, I leave the organic stuff for the municipality to decide what they want to do with it…Nancy

  2. Nan, This is very interesting as I was walking the beach down here at the north beach of Salinas and was amazed at all the clothing on the beach, shirts,pants, numerous tennis shoes etc. At first was thinking there must have been a ship wreck out there, but then was thinking couod it have been from the Sunami that hit Japan some time ago.

    Sounds crazy but have seen on the news where items have been found along the California coast. But since I know nothing about the currents of the Pacific not sure that is even a possiblity but it sure was strange.

    Tanks for this, thought I was the only one who noticed or cared.

    Lee Spotswood

    • Hi Lee, you know it could well be from Japan..When the earthquake hit our daughter and her husband were living less than 150 miles from the town where it hit. We were living in Salinas at the time and were evacuated and went to Guayaquil for a few days because of a fear of a tsunami on Ecuador’s coast due to that big earthquake. Too bad there is not a way to confirm the tides could carry these items all the way to Ecuador. Thanks or your comment…Nancy

  3. Good Job Nancy & Joe–One suggestion that I did once in Manta was to organize one day a month or week as cleaning the beach day and gather friends and neighbors to do the job–This will inspire lot of folks and for us as expats will create a very positive image–All the best–Yusuf

  4. Hi. Playamart – Zeebra Designs just brought me your way. I am also amazed and horrified by all the trash that washes up on the shore. If you are interested, you can check out my website and read about a project I’ve started with a focus on cleaning up the coastline here in the North Cape of Norway. Greetings, Erica

    • Hi Erica, Lisa aka Z sent me your link and I see your issues are much larger than what we see here. Once in a great while we will see a broken flip flop, during carnival we see a great deal of plastic cups, plates, food containers, plastic bags etc but very seldom do we see large plastic jugs, the items you have are washing ashore from someplace else, what we have is trash left by visitors to the beach. The culture here is just now changing to where garbage is place in a receptacle instead of just dropped out a bus window or where you are walking…Appreciate your comment, nice to have a connection in Norway, you are my first. Blessings, Nancy

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