Category Archives: aluminium can

returning to a new world…

After a long stretch under Scandinavian skies, it’s wonderful to return to Happybeach again. Though the world seems very different than when I left her.

I don’t claim to have more insight into world politics than the next person, but the current rumblings from a certain orange-tinted president should make us all alert – on many levels.
Of course American legislation doesn’t have a direct impact on my native Baltic waters, nor my adopted Mediterranean ones, but rhetoric is contagious. People all over the world look to the president – and see/ hear him (a position he utterly thrives on), and in doing so they realise that it’s okay to produce these so-called ‘alternative facts’. And if everyone can make up their own facts about the seriousness of human impact on the environment, if they can design truths to suit their own purses or purposes – years of hard work to raise awareness, and struggles to reach agreements, can be quickly be undone. Like so many others, I’m concerned. So, I will keep blurbing on about my findings.

evil-straws

The collection of the day includes:
10 drinking straws (various colours)
1 styrofoam box (for storing fish)
1 pack of cigarettes (soggy, some smoked)
1/2 a used buckshot

3 pop cans
18 plastic bottles
7 separate bottle lids
1 tube of polyfilla (empty)
5 shoes
1 boot
2 glass medical bottles
Foam
Assorted bits of plastic
1 chicken feed bag (empty – for eating chickens)
2 green plastic lids
1 plastic bag
Bits of rope (various shades of green)
Pieces of black irrigation pipe (longest 2m)
1 plastic shovel (green)
3 lighters

Peace.

peace

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Beach Angels Exist

The October sea has been gentle and welcoming until last night, and today huge waves crash against happybeach – bringing familiar unwanted gifts. In the turbulent water a fishing net recently cast out can be spotted drifting further and further away from the shore.

And it’s with utter joy I can report that fellow beach-cleaners have emerged on happybeach and beyond!

Yesterday I spotted my local neighbours busy on happybeach picking up litter by the rocks in big plastic sacks. What a glorious sight 🙂

clean-beach
woop woop – clean beach!

About 700m down the coast from our home lies the sandy beach of Agia Marina, which has been sadly neglected throughout my time in the area. Occasionally I’ve collected a bag or two on this stretch but the amounts of trash were so vast it wasn’t possible to keep up. Yet a couple of days ago we took a walk on the beach, and discovered that the worst debris had been cleaned, revealing it’s true beauty. Fingers crossed that the increase in tourists visiting this beautiful bay has encouraged the level of care for the area.

I can hereby confirm Beach Angels do exist.

iphone-angel
iphone angel

Collection includes:

  • 1 Iphone + angel case (handed in to local shop)
  • 12 plastic bottles
  • Pair of blue swimming goggles
  • 8 tin cans
  • assorted bits of rope
  • 1 shoe sole
  • 1 engine manual cover (in English)
  • 1 big yogurt tub
  • 1 plastic balloon holder – no balloon
  • 6 plastic cups, various sizes
  •  Fishing floats
  • 2 lighters
  • 2 cigarette ends
seahorses
sea monsters
  • 1 glass bottle
  • Assorted bit of plastic
  • Plastic bags
  • 1 detergent bottle
  • 2 clothes pegs
  • 21 bottle tops
  • 2 biro lids
  • 2 seahorses
rubbish-face
rubbish face

Trash and Turtles

The old saying “No News is Good News” applies in many situations – but unfortunately not when it comes to the Happy Beach saga. Though I’m keeping fairly quite this summer, it isn’t due to the fact that plastic consumption has dramatically decreased or that people have suddenly decided to use bins instead of the sea.

Unfortunately there is plenty to do on the beach, though the story does seem to continue along the same strain.

The sea has been very choppy for a few weeks producing impressive waves that crash onto the shore – and uninvited passengers jump on for the ride. Plastic waste intertwines with seaweed leaving a grim looking border on the seaside.

The occasional oddity is washed up with the detritus, such as half a watermelon or a couple of onions.

watermelon

The good news is that sea turtles are still laying! There are more than 15 nests on Happy Beach alone. As hatching time approaches I’ve been taking nightly walks accompanied by the most helpful and enchanting full moon – but not sightings yet.

A kind friend is doing the same on a nearby beach, and had the amazing luck to spot a couple of turtle ladies placing their precious loads in the sand. The dear things bravely confront both turbulent waters and plastic tainted nesting areas to lay their eggs.

turtle laying
photo curtesy of W. Norwood

The collection of the day includes:
* A yellow water pistol
* 3 glass bottles
* 5 juice cartons
* 2 odd socks
* styrofoam
* plastic pipe
* a paint brush (incl. grey paint)
* 8 plastic bottles
* a sachet of sunscreen (factor 15)
* a light bulb (complete)
* plastic bits/ bags
* a silicon container
* aluminium cans
* 9 plastic coffee cups
* straws
* string
* a feed sack
* a watermelon
* 2 onions

5.5kg of plastic lifted from Happy Beach

rubbish face

creatures of the storm

Tempestuous storms have dictated the mood of Happy Beach for most of 2016. Possibly just reflecting the turbulences taking place in the rest of the world. We see a few days of calm followed by breath-taking roaring waves, high winds, rain and unusual cold.

fishing stuff

Naturally the beach is strewn with all shapes and sizes of litter. The largest was the top of a wooden cable spool (1m diameter), and a heavy rope/ fishing net tangle.
The smallest were sadly thousands and thousands of nurdles, shaping the contours of the waves along the beach after the sea settled. These little demons are toxic, dangerous and impossible to collect.

tangle

On a lighter note the storms have brought new creatures to the beach. As of yet they are friendly but you never know…

lady of the sea

aqua gent

The storm collection:

* 12 screw tops
* lighter
* 1 small toothpaste tube
* 103 bottle tops
* 16 plastic bottles
* Rope & string (all colours)
* 2 aluminium cans + bits
* assorted plastic bits
* styrofoam pieces
* corner of a garden table
* 3 heels
* 1 comb
* 2 syringes
* 2 detergent bottles
* 2 sponges
* Lure (yellow fish)
* 1 toy shoe
* 20 plastic bags
* 2 plastic cups
* 6 fishing floats
* fishing line
* 6 pegs
* 3 ghost fishing nets
* 2 yogurt pots
* 1 toy soldier
* 18 straws
* 1 baby shoe
* 1 beach shoe
* small spoon (plastic)
* 10 sheet of thick plastic (used locally for greenhouses)

* 10,2kg plastic lifted off the beach

bad hair day

Begin the New with the Old..

2016 made a tempestuous entry on the island. The New Year rolled in at midnight on heavy rains and meter high, roaring waves. As usual the storms bring in plenty of debris from near and far, which calls for wellies, a warm scarf and a good sense of humour.

roaring sea

I’m still amazed, and disheartened, at the sheer quantities of rubbish drifting onto these shores – forgive me if I’m repeating myself, but the problem remains. As long as we base such a vast amount of our daily consumption on disposable items made of plastic, styrofoam and aluminium it will only get worse.

Every day I’m confronted with things we use and throw away… why? Because we can just purchase a new one, and another new one, and another, without giving a thought to “the old”. The old doesn’t exist as soon as it’s discarded. Like magic, right? Wrong. It’s very wrong. And the planet is rapidly changing because of this collective material blindness.

New Year is a time for new beginnings – we could begin 2016 by keeping the old.

2016 and joy
94 shoes collected on Happy Beach in 2015

Collection of the day:
* Assorted plastic bags (all sizes, pink, white & transparent)
* 2 shoes
* Broken bucket (red)
* 1 tube of toothpaste
* 2 toothpaste tops
* 1 letter F

F off

* 25 plastic bottles
* 2 fishing floats
* 1 fish shaped fishing tackle
* 8 straws
* Assorted pieces of styrofoam
* 4 yoghurt pots
* 3 aluminium can

strings

* Assorted pieces of plastic
* 4 pieces of rockwool
* 1 water blaster (broken)
* 1 table leg
* 6 plastic cups
* 12 pieces of string (multi colours)
* 3 balloons

hopeless joy

12.2kg of litter lifted off the Happy Beach point today!

Thinking of Paris..

When enjoying the solitude of my beach walks thoughts tend to drift towards Paris. At first they were naturally filled with deep sadness for the lives lost, and affected, by the horrid attacks in November, and currently they are preoccupied with the COP21 conference.

Though voices on the street are impaired by security restrictions, and a nuanced media coverage seems lacking, I hope against hope that energy guzzling/ profiting nations will take heed and realise that climate change is here, it is transforming our collective habitat for good, and we must take action now.

Peace
1037 plastic bottle tops found on Happy Beach over the summer

The wonderful activist site Avaaz.com started a virtual climate march in response to the restrictions made in Paris. It’s simple and still going on. Please join if you can. Peace.

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/paris_virtual_march/?pv=119&rc=fb

Nina

Otherwise my walks witness the tempestuous sea churning up plenty of rubbish on the shores.

Collection of the day includes:
17 plastic bottles
10 aluminium cans
Several broken cans
4 plastic cups
Fishing line
2 plastic plates
1 spoon (red)
1 fork plastic
1 small knife
Assorted plastic
Styrofoam
1 chair leg
2 fruit juice cartons
1 fishing reel
3 toothpaste tube tops
Bits of rope
Bits of tube
13 turtle eggs
1 dead squid
Disposable razor heads (6 pack, 2 left)
1 smartie lid
2 plastic containers
2 clothes pegs ( plastic)
2 disposable lighters
3 toy wheels

3.6kg of plastic lifted from Happy Beach in total

dinner is served

Buckshot season is here…

Winter has gently arrived in Cyprus. Yet with average sea temperatures of 21 degrees swimming is still possible, and there’s nothing quite like starting the day with a refreshing splash!

Winter also means the start of hunting season – which is a big deal on the island. Around 45.000 permits are issued allowing locals to traipse across woodlands and fields shooting at birds, rabbits and other small creatures on Wednesdays and Sundays. Their leftovers can be found on paths, roads and even the beach. My collections count a far higher number of empty buckshot shells over the winter months..

buckshot

Collection includes:
* 1 white queen (chess)
* 1 paint bucket
* 10 l. orange canister
* 10 cigarette ends
* 2 juice cartons
* 2 lighters
* 2 buckshot shells
* assorted plastic

rubbish

* A square piece of cardboard wrapped in plastic
* 1 toy soldier
* 1 paint roller
* 1 child’s shoe
* 8 plastic bottles
* 3 aluminium cans
* Silver foil
* Fishing line
* 1 So Easy phone card
* Styrofoam
* 7 bottle tops
* 3 plastic plates
* 2 plastic bags

evening sky