• Outdoors Outdoors

Volunteers clean over 10,000 pounds of litter from tourist hotspot beach: 'Too many people are still using the beach as an ashtray'

"Why is it still a thing here?"

"Why is it still a thing here?"

Photo Credit: Stichting De Noordzee

When we think of the beach, we picture sunshine, smiling faces, and relaxation. However, sometimes that is not the case.

One compassionate Redditor posted a news article and photo on r/Netherlands, addressing the rubbish [trash] dilemma that unfortunately continues to plague Dutch beaches, as volunteers gather together to make their beaches and communities free of harmful pollutants

Beach clean-ups take time, energy, and money to rid an area of waste. This Redditor shows that despite cleaning up debris, the effort has brought together community members who care about the well-being of their beach and the impact on their health

The trash cleared by volunteers included up to 30,000 cigarette butts and plastics, taking up to two weeks to clear the garbage along the coastline. According to Dutch News, it totaled over 13,000 pounds of trash. 

"Why is it still a thing here? People don't bother using trash bins even when those are standing 2m away," the OP said, surprised that trash bins for proposal disposal are not being used as often as they could be. 

Taken at Zandvoort beach, the photo displays four volunteers kneeling down to find scraps to place in their bins. The volunteers are determined to rid Zandvoort of being designated top of the list for "tourist trash" beaches.

Disappointed by others' failure to follow the rules for trash disposal, the user shared, "I assumed it's legal as I saw it being done so many times." 

Tourism is meant to be an enjoyable experience. Many tourist destinations encompass some level of nature, exposing others to the wonders of the world. As we become aware of the planet-warming gases threatening these experiences, we have the chance to protect these wonders so we can continue to enjoy them. 

Whenever this is taken for granted, communities, wildlife, and biodiversity all have something to lose. 

"Too many people are still using the beach as an ashtray. The plastics and chemicals in cigarette butts are incredibly damaging to the environment," Wytske Postma, director of the Stichting De Noordzee Foundation, told Dutch News

One user rationalized the behavior, suggesting it is "more [of] a habit."

Another user added to the disappointment by sharing, "It's nuts how many of these things are thrown on the ground around playgrounds and the sidewalks around my neighborhood."

By being aware of the delicate balance we hold with nature, whether on vacation or throughout our day, we hold greater respect for our ecosystem and what it does for our own wellness.

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