I walk three times a week to the beach and time it so the tide is far enough out for me to walk along the shoreline. I used to take two grocery bags with me for garbage and bottles/cans, but this summer I have to take four.
From the jade bear to the pier, I pick up at least one bag of each and deposit them in the refuse centre at the head of the pier. I usually find less garbage from the pier to the boat ramp, but sometimes it is also two full bags.
People often stop me and make comments about the “young people” leaving their waste on the beach, but my experience, and I tell them this, is that families are the biggest culprits.
I know this because of the kind of garbage I pick up. This includes, juice boxes, diapers, beach toys, orange and banana peels, and wet wipes, as well as children’s clothing, snack packaging, sunglasses, flip-flops, water shoes, ice cream containers and little plastic spoons, etc.
Granted, there are a lot of other items on the beach, including liquor containers, water bottles, broken bottles, straws, drink-mix bottles, etc, which are likely left by young adults/older people. I have also found ladies’ intimate apparel, men’s underwear, condoms and feminine hygiene products (We all know what’s going on there!)
I have picked up countless single sandals, shoes and flip-flops, even one big rubber boot, doggie poop bags and an adult diaper (yuck!). Other items include pens, lighters, cigarette packages, marijuana paraphernalia, floss sticks, face masks, surgical gloves, hundreds of napkins, take-out food packaging, plastic containers, etc.
Finally, there are items regurgitated by the ocean, which still include pieces of the sailboats lost December 2018, plastic fisher person ties, buoys, styrofoam, etc.
Please consider our planet and the health of our beach, ocean and people by only leaving your footprints behind.
By the way, yes, I do wear gloves.
Bonnie Gillis, Surrey