May 14, 2020

1 Min Read

Florida reopened its beaches the first weekend in May and brought in more than just people. According to Keep Brevard Beautiful, beach visitors have since left almost 12,000 pounds of trash behind.

"People will come from out of town and leave an umbrella, a tent or chairs because it's a onetime use," Bryan Bobbitt, Keep Brevard Beautiful executive director, told CNN. "Chip bags, plastic straw wrappers and anything can get blown into the dunes."

Two weekends ago, teams collected 297 bags of trash -- at 40 pounds a bag, that's almost 12,000 pounds, Bobbitt said. He estimates the weight was higher, as tent poles, beach chairs and other heavy items were left on beaches.

This weekend was close to that number with 305 bags of trash, he said. On average, crews collect 30 to 40 bags on a day during this time of year, he said.

With the surge in trash, both in overflowing garbage cans and the waste left on the beach, the Cocoa Beach Police Department issued a reminder that littering on the beach will result in a $250 fine. The citation existed before the pandemic.

"We don't want people to not come to the beach. It's there for everyone to enjoy," Bobbitt said. "If people just pick up for themselves and take it home to recycle it, that's even better."

Read the full article here.

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