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Display gives perspective to the need for beach cleanups

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on March 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm with No Comments »
March 25, 2011 9:40 am
These 'meta-bottles,' stand 8 1/2-feet high and contain one year's worth of plastic bottles recovered from park beaches. (Richard James

Over the past three years, park volunteer Richard James has packed out more than three tons of litter – mostly plastic bits of all sizes – from beaches at Point Reyes National Seashore, north of San Francisco.

He decided to store a year’s worth of water bottles and display them with the hope of encouraging people to use a refillable metal bottle and stop buying plastic, according to a National Park Service news release.

The meta-bottles stand over 8 1/2-feet tall and are about three feet in diameter. He made the bottles fron chicken wire and the lids of the bottles are plastic buckets, also collected from area beaches.

These meta-bottles show what one person can pick up on a fraction of the earth’s coastline in one short year, the release said.

“The earth cannot metabolize what man keeps dumping in the sea. These bottles eventually break down and are eaten by fish, which are eaten by other fish, which are eventually eaten by man,” the release said.

I thought this was appropriate, given that the Washington Coast Cleanup is scheduled for April 23. Last year, more than 1,000 volunteers worked to remove 24 tons of trash and debris from beaches stretching from Neah Bay to Long Beach.

Click here to learn more about the cleanup and to sign up.

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