Monday, June 22, 2009

Mermaids Cry Tears of Styrofoam

We went to the beach at Mavericks on Saturday to clean it of ocean-borne trash. The "trash du jour" was what we call mermaid tears, which are tiny bits of plastic and styrofoam that were once discarded and are now slowly broken down into small pieces by wind, sun and movement. The much-publicized Pacific Trash Vortex is mostly made up of this kind of floating waste, and the garbage we find on the beaches is brought in by high tide from the ocean. All of the bits of trash in the above photo was found at the high tide line on the beach, mixed in with seaweed and other organic matter.

Much of this trash ends up in the stomachs of fish and birds who think it's food. Not a healthy situation by any means. When you buy and soon after throw away your plastic and styrofoam, please remember: THERE IS NO "AWAY" when you "throw away" this stuff. It's high time to replace plastic and styrofoam with biodegradable packaging.