When beaches in Florida reopened last week, people flocked to them to absorb the sun, sand and water. Unfortunately, many forgot to take their trash with them when they left.
While pollution and emissions have precipitously dropped worldwide, Cocoa Beach saw a huge spike in garbage as cleanup crews collected more than 13,000 pounds strewn across the sand over the weekend. The beaches, which reopened on April 21, will remain open, but authorities will start to crack down on litter by increasing the fines and enforcement, focusing on litter violations in the days and weeks ahead in an effort to educate the public and mitigate this repulsive and disrespectful behaviour. Littering will now come with a $250 fine.
Volunteers and observers have noticed that the discarded items are often single-use plastics. People will come from out of town and leave an umbrella, a tent or chairs because it's a onetime use. Chip bags, plastic straw wrappers and anything can get blown into the dunes. The litter poses a threat to Florida's marine life and to the beach environment. Keep Brevard Beautiful says the goal of their cleanup efforts is to keep the environment safe for humans and for animals. If we don't pick it up, it gets blown into the water. We've all seen the photo of the straw stuck in a sea turtle's nose or a 6-pack ring around a bird's neck. (source: EcoWatch.com)
Think about what you do or don't do. Every action or non action has consequences. Everybody enjoys a beautiful beach and clean sea, but each one must do his/her part to enjoy the day after and after again and save our planet. Ditch single use plastics, use reusable natural products, leave only your footprints on the beach!
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