On Tuesday, Wrightsville Beach was bustling with activity. UNCW was having their annual "Beach Blast" and the Weather Channel was hanging out at Johnnie Mercer's Pier... and we were doing our 89th beach clean up! ;) AND... just look how gorgeous it was!!!
I was told by my friend Michelle that the (above) photo is deceiving. Why?? Because no one would ever guess the amount of litter that we remove from the beach in just 20 minutes based on that photograph. I never thought about it before, but it's been something that I've been doing from the moment I started these clean ups. Trying to convey the beauty of the beach with the juxtaposition of the litter. Hoping that people understand that even what seem to be small problems are inherently bigger than we realize. The fact of the matter is: Most people wouldn't even notice the majority of litter that we pick up.
I know that I probably beat this whole cigarette butt litter thing to a pulp... BUT... I can't seem to stop myself! When my kids are wading through a tidal pool (like the beautiful/clean/pristine top photo) and they come running to me with cigarette butts... I get sick to my stomach. I've seen what a cigarette butt in water does. It doesn't just look gross... it's toxic. THIS is reality... over 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered EVERY single year.... how many of those littered cigarette butts come in contact with water???? ummm.... We live on the blue planet. (just sayin')
Cigarette butts: 240
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 89 days: