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Watch your step today on San Diego beaches

22,217 cigarette butts, 20,000 pieces of plastic foodware, 13,712 pieces of polysterene foam

Topping the list for the past 14 years as the number one Independence Day cast-off are cigarette butts.
Topping the list for the past 14 years as the number one Independence Day cast-off are cigarette butts.

Today, July 5, marks the dirtiest day of the year for beaches. By noon, volunteers from OB Pier to Oceanside will have collected the evidence for next year's annual beach cleanup report. And they can guess what they'll find.

"Incredible amounts of red and blue single-use plastic cups, food packaging waste, abandoned toys and clothing," and that's not all, according to Surfrider Foundation, which has released its annual beach report for 2021.

Topping the list for the past 14 years as the number one Independence Day cast-off are cigarette butts. Increasingly, e-cigarettes.

While single-use plastic food wrappings get most of the attention, plastic cigarette butts are not only the top item found on local beaches, but at county roadside and neighborhood cleanups.

Over 150 beach cleanups hosted by Surfrider's San Diego chapter were carried out in 2021, in which 2,500 volunteers removed over 6,000 pounds of trash from county beaches.

The totals for San Diego include 22,217 cigarette butts, over 20,000 pieces of single-use plastic foodware and accessories, and 13,712 pieces of EPS (expanded polysterene) foam.

That compares to 2020, when Covid reigned and local volunteers nevertheless counted 8,131 abandoned cigarette butts among the "morning after" debris, as they dub the 5th.

Nationwide, 84 percent of all items collected for this year's cleanup were plastic. Of these, there were 136,736 cigarette butts, followed by a range of plastic fragments and other items, including 11,410 plastic straws.

Discarded on streets and sidewalks, butts travel from storm drains to the ocean where they don't biodegrade in the marine environment. Instead, they slowly break into tinier plastic bits, leaching toxic chemicals into soil and water.

Tackling the waste at its source is Surfrider's next mission. From San Diego to Oceanside, the group has helped pass local bans on a range of plastics - food utensils, bags, beverage bottles, balloons, straws, polystyrene foam.

After supporting a failed statewide bill to ban tobacco waste in 2020, the group turned their focus to passing a local version of the ordinance in the city of San Diego.

This year it has been proposed that a ban on single-use cigarette filters, e-cigarettes and vape products and vape pods.

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Topping the list for the past 14 years as the number one Independence Day cast-off are cigarette butts.
Topping the list for the past 14 years as the number one Independence Day cast-off are cigarette butts.

Today, July 5, marks the dirtiest day of the year for beaches. By noon, volunteers from OB Pier to Oceanside will have collected the evidence for next year's annual beach cleanup report. And they can guess what they'll find.

"Incredible amounts of red and blue single-use plastic cups, food packaging waste, abandoned toys and clothing," and that's not all, according to Surfrider Foundation, which has released its annual beach report for 2021.

Topping the list for the past 14 years as the number one Independence Day cast-off are cigarette butts. Increasingly, e-cigarettes.

While single-use plastic food wrappings get most of the attention, plastic cigarette butts are not only the top item found on local beaches, but at county roadside and neighborhood cleanups.

Over 150 beach cleanups hosted by Surfrider's San Diego chapter were carried out in 2021, in which 2,500 volunteers removed over 6,000 pounds of trash from county beaches.

The totals for San Diego include 22,217 cigarette butts, over 20,000 pieces of single-use plastic foodware and accessories, and 13,712 pieces of EPS (expanded polysterene) foam.

That compares to 2020, when Covid reigned and local volunteers nevertheless counted 8,131 abandoned cigarette butts among the "morning after" debris, as they dub the 5th.

Nationwide, 84 percent of all items collected for this year's cleanup were plastic. Of these, there were 136,736 cigarette butts, followed by a range of plastic fragments and other items, including 11,410 plastic straws.

Discarded on streets and sidewalks, butts travel from storm drains to the ocean where they don't biodegrade in the marine environment. Instead, they slowly break into tinier plastic bits, leaching toxic chemicals into soil and water.

Tackling the waste at its source is Surfrider's next mission. From San Diego to Oceanside, the group has helped pass local bans on a range of plastics - food utensils, bags, beverage bottles, balloons, straws, polystyrene foam.

After supporting a failed statewide bill to ban tobacco waste in 2020, the group turned their focus to passing a local version of the ordinance in the city of San Diego.

This year it has been proposed that a ban on single-use cigarette filters, e-cigarettes and vape products and vape pods.

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Golden Hill finally gets attention

CCC fixes trail on 26th, installs wooden bridges, adds stone stairs
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