Plastic garbage at Montara State Beach


By on Wed, July 8, 2009

Recently the Montara Beach Coalition was contacted to inform them that the bumper stickers they hand out saying "pack your trash" were being stuck on the railings and garbage cans around the beach. While I’m certain this is done with good intentions, when exposed to the weather, these stickers fall apart and leave pieces of plastic all over the beach and surrounding areas, where they can be consumed by the animals we all love and cherish, not to mention the eyesore it creates.

I asked them if they could inform people as they hand the the stickers out to use them properly, i.e. on the bumpers of cars. This seemed a simple straight foward request, however after 3 back and forth E-mails, these are some responses I recieved from a person I won’t name. (I have been asked not to quote the E-mail directly, so I will try to my best changing around some verbiage without changing the meanings): 1) It’s far fetched that marine life would ingest them; 2) there are far greater threats to marine life; 3) why don’t I peel them off myself if they bug me; 4) I should contact other environmental groups because they use bumper stickers also; 5) why don’t I come up with a better way to spread the word; 6) why don’t I put my time into cleaning up the beach; 7) my E-mails are threatening (I mentioned I might post the problem in the HMBreview, I guess that is threatening to this person); 8) I seem to have become over zealous; and # 9 my favorite, maybe I or someone else are peeling them off, and how can the Coalition control that.

Here is some info direct from the Coalition’s own web site: Plastic bags and other plastic garbage that is thrown into the ocean kills nearly 1 million sea creatures every year. Plastic trash comprises 60 to 80% of all litter. It has an incredibly long life. A plastic six-pack cover is expected to last 450 years. Almost 90% of floating marine debris is plastic. There are over 46,000 pieces of plastic debris floating on every square mile of ocean today.

These were my answers to the questions and comments: 1) Your own web site says 1 million sea creatures die every year from plastic garbage, it’s hard to believe that you really think it’s far fetched. 2) Because there are greater threats, do you think we should ignore this problem? That doesn’t seem like a solution to me, it sounds like passing the buck. 3) I had already mentioned to this person that it is impossible (ever try to peel a bumper sticker off a bumper after it’s been there awhile? Now try to peel one from a rusty railing or stinking garbage can. 4) I haven’t seen other groups bumper stickers around the beach, and once again, is this a solution or passing the buck? 5) Sorry, I’m kinda busy, and when I get free time, I go clean up the beach. 6) I clean the beach whenever I can, and it a waste of my time picking up these little pieces of bumper stickers. 7) wow you are threatened very easily. 8) Yes I am very zealous about keeping the beach clean, is this a problem? #9 is such a goofy thing I don’t quite know how to respond to it, but I guarentee you I’m not peeling the stickers off, and tossing the pieces to the wind, and find it hard to imagine that other people do this.

Needless to say, I don’t think I was taken seriously, I don’t know for sure, as I have been blocked from the Coalitions E-mail, which is why I’m writing this asking people not to leave these stickers on the garbage cans and railings. Thanks to every one who helps keep the beaches clean.