With numbers in from Memorial Day weekend, the Clean Beach Coalition is on track to collect between 50,000 and 60,000 pounds of potential litter over the remaining summer holiday weekends. About half these litter totals could come this Fourth of July weekend.
I Love A Clean San Diego County’s Clean Beach Coalition program is the only regional program focused on preventing beach litter before it starts, and includes recycling to keep these items out of the landfill. About 200 temporary recycling and trash bins are placed and maintained on the beaches of Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and around Mission Bay over the Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day weekends.
During these busy summer holidays, San Diego's beaches and bays are popular spots for locals and visitors. The influx of beachgoers quickly overwhelms permanent trash receptacles, which leads to pollution on the beaches and in the bays and ocean. On top of diminishing San Diego’s natural beauty, marine pollution poses a serious health threat to local wildlife and negatively impacts water quality. The additional trash and recycling bins serve as a second line of defense to help patrons properly dispose of items before becoming marine pollution.
The temporary bins are easier to empty each day. Taking both trash and recycling bins directly to the beachgoers, the bins serve as a convenient advertisement and incentive to put potential litter in its place.
Reinventing the Coalition with a New Partnership
Now in its 14th summer, I Love A Clean San Diego has employed the Urban Corps of San Diego County to increase capacity, prevent litter before it falls on San Diego’s beaches and combine conservation with education and workforce development. By employing corps members, the coalition supports Urban Corps’ mission to give thousands of young adults the opportunity to improve themselves while improving their communities.
Over the past decade, the Clean Beach Coalition has kept more than three million pounds of trash off the beach and out of the ocean. I Love A Clean San Diego hopes this reinvestment in the program will help drive greater impact in the years to come.
Challenged with an Increase of Beach Litter in 2020
Significantly larger amounts of takeout packaging and single-use plastics exacerbated the litter issue in 2020. The spike in tourism at the beach and far too many examples of negligence have made the use of temporary waste and recycling bins an increasing necessity to provide relief for the city’s most heavily trafficked beaches.
Enjoy the Scene, and Keep it Clean
With the support of coalition members Think Blue San Diego, City of San Diego Parks & Recreation Department, the coalition aims to educate beachgoers about the harms of beach and marine litter, and how we can lessen our impact by swapping out single-use, disposable products with reusable alternatives.
Anyone can help keep our beaches clean. A simple way to make a huge difference is opting for reusable items in place of disposable, single-use plastics.
Do not purchase or use Styrofoam containers or single-use plastics of any kind. Rather use hard plastic or metal coolers, insulated bags and reusable, beach-safe alternatives.
Do not purchase single-use plastic bottles. Bring refillable water bottles and large reusable fluid containers for beverages instead.
Refuse to purchase plastic utensils and do not take them from restaurants – bring and use reusable options.
Avoid the use of plastic bags at every opportunity possible.
Eliminate the need for single-use sandwich bags and food wrappers by shopping in bulk and packing food in reusable food storage containers.
Leave the beach you enjoyed better than it was when you arrived! Pack out what you packed in!