Wenqian Li and I planned on joining Orange Coast Keeper-Beach Cleanup event in January. However, we couldn’t find their manager when we arrived, so we decided to just move on and do it by ourselves😂. ps: I’d suggest to bring your own recyclable bags and trash tongs to pick up trash, or the organization will give you plastic bag and plastic gloves to pick up plastic. ˊ_>ˋ
Trashes on Huntington beach were more than we imagined (maybe because of the government shut-down?). Most of them almost “decomposed” and mixed with the sands. It was hard for me to tell the difference between a seashell and a trash, since the majority of the trash were tiny pieces from white polystyrene foam containers, which are universally-recognized as one of the most un-ecofriendly materials(A Source For Why is Plastic-Foam Harmful).
Obviously, cities ban the polystyrene foam for good reasons. Imagine in some movies like Pocahontas, where they have characters singing in a woods or by the ocean while petals are floating with the wind or waves and sunlight shining through them, it’s pretty much how I felt like except replacing the petals with plastic foam debris. They are light, so once there’s a breeze, they will be blown into the ocean; because they are not a firm material, they’re easily broken down into smaller pieces, which makes them harder to be picked up. In the end, we were literally chasing after the debris and throwing handful of sand into our bags.
Overall, we were glad that we went there and reminded ourselves that there’s still a long way to go in order to make a huge change, but nothing can be done without doing them step by step, right?
One little regret was that we didn’t get to ask the manager how would Orange Coast Keeper take care of the trash after they are gathered by volunteers, please comment below if you know.
YS. Ding 2/3/19