Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our Daily Ocean: Day 42

I often feel when we do beach clean ups that there's a lesson to be learned with what we find.  Yesterday, while doing a 20 minute clean up at Access 43... I came across a plastic bag... it was half buried in the sand and as I got closer and went to grab it... I realized that it was starting to degrade.  No longer was the plastic bag from Wal-Mart one single piece of plastic... it was breaking down into smaller pieces that had to be scooped up with the sand...


Last weekend when we met Bonnie at Wrightsville Beach... we talked about plastic bags.  Through talking she started telling me about a photo she saw of a mother sea otter trying to remove a plastic bag from her pup... and when I finally saw the photo this morning... I thought... EVERYONE needs to see this photo...

Seriously, makes my heart heavy.  For me that photo is another reason to always say "No Thank You" to plastic bags and to support all of the plastic bag bans that are popping up all over our country (and world)... and don't let the plastics industry fool you... recycling is NOT the answer.  Did you know that about 60,000 plastic bags are used every 5 seconds???  Seriously, with billions of plastic bags used every single year... recycling is NOT the answer.  The answer is to REFUSE...




Yesterday's clean up at Access 43 was our fourth clean up there.  Our first was on August 9-- also our first 20 minute clean-up-- where we collected 346 cigarette butts.  We went back on October 29-- the final day of voting for my Brita FilterForGood Film Project-- where we collected 265 cigarette butts.  Then we made it back to Access 43 on Christmas Day where we collected 720 cigarette butts.  Thankfully the numbers have dropped off and yesterday we picked up 92 cigarette butts off of Wrightsville Beach.  I say thankfully with hesitation because obviously 92 cigarette butts in 20 minutes is still too many...


because when it comes to finding cigarette butts... there's always other smoking related litter that comes along with the butts... from the plastic wrap that surrounds a cigarette carton to something like this...
20 minutes on February 12, 2010
Litter by weight: 12.5 oz
Cigarette butts: 92

Total amount of cigarette butts picked up off of Wrightsville Beach, NC in 42 days:

14,216