The Environmental Cost of Beach Toys

I grew up on the beach, so I know how important or unimportant beach toys can or cannot be. Our beach toys were old kitchen utensils if that. We didn ‘t have money.. for this, if we wanted beach toys, we used old kitchen stuff.

Today, it seems that kids cannot go to the beach without a $5.00 bucket of plastic toys. Beach toys come packaged in a mesh like bag.. which are strewn over the beach. Some kids have no toys, while most others play with a set of plastic beach toys that will have This Old House guys burning in envy and makes me cringe.

The real truth of the matter- no kid NEEDS to have beach toys. Beach toys are a luxury item, you do not need them to live. On top of that, you don’t even have to buy them,  this is enough materials to play with on the beach in your trash can..

That said, everyday I pick up trash, I pick up at least 5 plastic toys and at least 1 packaging a day.  During the summer months, it is very easy to pick up 10 toys and their packaging. Cheap toys break easily and it is NOT ok to leave any toys on the beach. Cheap plastic breaks easily, and get washed away to be eaten by sea animals. I pick up at least 500 small pieces of broken beach toy plastic, whenever I pick up beach trash,

There are many parts to this story:

1.) The high cost of cheap and a throwaway society. 

2.) The high cost of oil- plastic= oil. Those beach toys increased our dependence on oil..

3.) Increased reliance on products from China.

4.) No recycle rating on the toys, which means, you don’t know what is in it.. BPA phthalates, PVC which used in teethers and soft squeeze toysfor young children, beach balls,

5.) The high cost of litter.. what we as taxpayers pay to clean our beaches.

6.) Plastic does not biodegrade- but is subject to photodegrade, which is more toxic to oceans.

7.) The state of our oceans in general.

8.) When parents and kids leave litter behind, they are teaching and demonstrating to all, that our earth does not matter, it is OK to pollute, it is OK to leave behind your dirty diapers, your fast food, your trash.. it is OK for you not to take responsibility for your actions.

What does a parent do?  

1.) Stop using plastic, if so reuse old milk jars and other plastic containers

2.) Count each toy/ item and make your kid responsible for them. Count before you go to the beach and when you return.

3.) Take a separate trash bag to put your trash in where you are sitting. This will help keep it away from seagulls and getting buried.

4.) Pick up your entire area, including other peoples trash before you leave.

Both the mesh packaging, the paper signage are found everyday on the beach.

Over 500 pieces of Beach Toys picked up

Broken Shovels Are the #1 Beach Toy picked up

Where to find Green Beach Toys

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  1. [...] Going into Earth Month and in celebration of Earth Day we will be running a series of Take An Eco Guess and win FREE Stuff. Our first Eco Guess is about beach trash and features Toys found on the beach. All the toys seen below are from December 1, 2012-April 25 2013. They are all in salable condition and were picked up in a 1/2 stretch of the beach in South Mission Beach, CA. For more information on the environmental cost of beach toys go to Green Eco Services. [...]

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