Clean Beach Coalition: Summertime Beach Litter Prevention Program Employs Workforce Development to Fight Pollution

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.

Beginning with the Memorial Day holiday on May 28, 2021, I Love A Clean San Diego County’s Clean Beach Coalition program will deploy and maintain nearly 200 additional temporary recycling and trash bins along the beaches and bays in Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay and Ocean Beach. The bins will again be placed in the same communities for the 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 place potential litter in its place. The bins feature large color graphics to help people put trash and recycling in the correct bin.

Forces Deployed in Time for Memorial Day Weekend

Now in its 14th summer, the Clean Beach Coalition aims to protect the city’s beaches and bays from hundreds of thousands of pounds of pollution.

This year, I Love A Clean San Diego has employed Urban Corps of San Diego County to increase capacity and combat the increase in litter. Now with a coalition powered by I Love A Clean San Diego, Urban Corps and the City of San Diego, it is estimated the combined effort could collect between 300,000 and half a million pounds of potential litter over the Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.

Combining conservation with education and workforce development, the Clean Beach Coalition will help support the Urban Corps’ mission to give thousands of underserved, low-income young adults ages 18-26 the opportunity to improve themselves while improving their own communities. Urban Corps’ unique work-learn program allows youth to finish high school while earning a paycheck, learning real-world job skills, and giving back to the community through professional services.

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 and depleted abilities to mobilize additional city staff and volunteers. Pollution generated by single-use packaging from restaurant to-go orders has seen a significant spike in beach communities since the coronavirus began and it is only expected to worsen over summer holiday weekends. 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. In previous years the program has collected on average over 348,000 pounds of trash and recyclables over the summer holiday weekends. With the support of coalition members Think Blue San Diego, 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!

Get Your Brand in the Sand & Support the Clean Beach Coalition

Now in its 14th year, the Clean Beach Coalition has kept over 3.5 million pounds of litter off the beach and out of the ocean. This year, I Love A Clean San Diego has employed another outstanding nonprofit, Urban Corps of San Diego County, to increase the impact. In 2021, it’s estimated the combined effort could collect between 300,000 and half a million pounds of potential litter over the Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends. Local companies can join the coalition and get their Brand in the Sand, while helping to protect the beauty of our beaches. Supporters logos are printed and displayed on some 200 temporary recycle and trash bins deployed on three popular holiday weekends. Contact Ian Monahan at I Love A Clean San Diego for more information – 619.795.5806 or imonahan@cleansd.org.