Not too many people could argue that thousands of pounds of single-use bags, plastic bottles, Styrofoam containers, cigarette butts, disposable utensils, and just about anything else you can imagine are choking the globe’s scenic beaches and the wildlife that lives in the ocean. Anyone who is unaware of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch needs to be. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch). The Miami Hurricane newspaper reports that littering of Miami Beach is so egregious that law enforcement plans to cite offenders and ban oceanside smoking. This, the city commissioner says, is because education only goes so far. Yet there are plenty of people in every beachside community who are aware of the impact of irresponsible disposal of trash on their surrounding habitat. Gather professionals, politicians, citizens, and those with a creative flair for marketing and communicating. Locals up and down the coastlines of the U.S. have begun doing this to defend both their livelihoods (tourism, fishing) and recreation. Be prepared with facts. How much trash washes up during with every high tide or after each big holiday? Where are recycling receptacles? What type of to-go containers do local businesses offer? Then, brainstorm collaborative solutions and have everyone commit to an action. And, never underestimate the power of each conversation. When you see someone litter, gently suggest that they dropped something. Ask them to pick it up. Pick up every piece of litter you see; make a project out of it with friends and family. Imagine the example you are setting and habits you are instilling in children.
Education and enforcement are your answers. People will catch on.
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