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Hoiyin Ip, Dana Point 

The 33rd annual California Coastal Cleanup Day that took place Sep. 16 seemed bigger than ever. With the data reported from 65 percent of the cleanup sites, the California Coast gathered:

  • 42,036 volunteers participated
  • 316,853 pounds, or 158 tons of trash and recyclable materials, were collected

42,036 volunteers.
Those volunteers picked up 293,727 pounds of trash
and an additional 23,126 pounds of recyclable materials,
for a total of 316,853 pounds or 158 tons.Our little town had four cleanup sites and was a big player in Orange County. But frankly, cleanups serve as a bandage. How can we take a real step toward zero trash in the waterways?

“Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle” is said thousands of times, and yet it still waits for a click in the mind.

Let’s start with single-use plastics today.

According to Sierra Club’s survey, most people believe there is the need to reduce consumption of single-use plastics and replace them with reusable/biodegradable materials, and we have been doing it increasingly. But many states believe that real change needs to happen on a higher level. For instance, restaurants and events typically give people no choice but to use the things they know are not good for the environment.

There is a gap between consumers’ preferences and businesses’ practices. Where are we headed? Looking at the recent past, when the stores were not willing to stop using single-use plastic bags, citizens took the action to have them banned. For now, it might be a good idea for businesses to go a shade greener, for marketing purposes, at least.

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