City of San Diego: Summertime Beach Litter Prevention Program Employs Workforce Development to Fight Pollution
I Love A Clean San Diego expands capacity of litter prevention efforts over popular summer holidays with Urban Corps of San Diego County’s unique work-learn program.
SAN DIEGO (June 17, 2021) – 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. 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 additional 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 the popular spots for locals and visitors. With the influx of beachgoers, permanent trash receptacles are overwhelmed by the surge of additional waste, which can lead 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 bin space serves as a second line of defense, allowing patrons to 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 are labeled and 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
Challenged with an Increase of Beach Litter in 2020
In 2020, the litter issue was exacerbated by exponentially larger instances of takeout packaging due to COVID-19 restrictions. Pollution generated by single-use plastic and packaging from restaurant to-go orders has seen a significant spike in beach communities since the pandemic began. The issue remains persistent. The spike in tourism at the beach and far too many examples of negligence has made the use of temporary waste and recycling bins a necessity to provide relief for the city’s most heavily-trafficked beaches.
Enjoy the Scene, and Keep it Clean
Over the past decade, the Clean Beach Coalition has kept over 3.5 million pounds of trash off the beach and out of the ocean. With the support of coalition members Think Blue San Diego, City of San Diego Parks & Recreation Department, The Coca-Cola Foundation, and Urban Corps of San Diego County, 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.
Ready your Reusables
Please Plan Ahead – Pack Out What You Packed In!
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 plastic cups of any kind. Rather use hard plastic or metal coolers, insulated bags and reusable, beach-safe cups as 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!