Category Archives: straw

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

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

The fishermen’s plastic dinner

The news this summer has been filled with disturbing reports stemming from this region, only a couple of days ago 140 refugees stranded at the Akrotiri airbase, so of course looking out at the Mediterranean every morning evokes conflicted thoughts – also about the collected debris, some of which have Syrian labels.

Summer is slipping into Autumn on Happy Beach, the rains have arrived, and fishermen are reappearing on the rocks. Plastic washing up on the shore is still manageable, but it saddens me to consistently discover waste from the fishermen scatted carelessly about the area.
Obviously they have no clue that their remains go back in the sea, become eaten by the fish, and ultimately end up on their own dinner plates.

Bon appetit!
fishermens trash

Collection of the day includes:
6 cigaret butts
1 juice carton
Assorted plastic
3 pieces of rope
1 small ghost net
1 canister + plastic fishing line
2 can
8 bottle tops
2 paper bags
1 pillow

pillow

7 bits of plastic bags
10 plastic bottles
2 glass bottles
2 bits of broken glass
1 broken comb
1 plastic blob
1 plastic tub
1 plastic Frappe cup
Styrofoam
1 flip flop

flipflop

2 plastic bags
4 shoes (size child to male adult)
1 razor head
1 sun hat (child size)
1 green straw
2 milk bottles (plastic)
2 clothes pegs
1 baby bottle toy

bottle

Suddenly this summer…

After longer spell abroad it’s a joy to return to a hot, summery Happy Beach. The sea is turbulent and, as always, endlessly attempting to discard our rubbish back on the shore. One totally heartwarming homecoming event is; that the turtle nests are hatching!! We had a visit from the Cyprus Wildlife Society today, who register nests, and dig out the hatched eggs to see the progress.

turtle eggs

This is such exciting news, and as it turns out, the nests seem to be doing well. We marked off the nests when we found them 6 weeks ago with sticks to try to protect them from playful visitors and the occasional car driving on the beach. Now the baby turtle are making their epic journey into the sea. Here are some tiny turtle tracks…

turtle tracks

Collection of the day:

* 13 plastic bottles
* 2 flip-flops (not a pair)
* 1 broken sun-bed

sun bed

* 1 glass bottle
* 2 bottle tops
* 1 beer can
* Assorted plastic
* 2 plastic espresso cups
* 8 straws
* 1 aubergine
* 1 phone cradle (red plastic)

phone home

turtle beach life…

Am back on Happy Beach for a short spell, and summer has truly set in! Hot nights and hotter days, thankfully there is a constant breeze from the sea and plenty of rock pools to cool you down. The sea is so stormy that swims aren’t an option but the beach is relatively clean. Though there is always something to do. Yesterday a wonderful surprise appeared on our remote shore:

turtle tracks

Sea turtles have made their way to the edge of the beach to nests their eggs. We found three in total. One had sadly been dug out by a fox or dog. We marked the other two with sticks, and are looking into ways of protecting them. August Full Moon should see the hatching of baby turtles. Such joy!

nests

Collection of the day included:
* 5 straws
* 1 broken plastic sack
* 1 syringe
* 1 vodka bottle
* 7 plastic bottles
* 1 salt tub lid
* 2 aluminium cans
* 16 bottle tops
* a broken broom
* a pen lid
* 3 yoghurt pots
* sheets of plastic
* 1 juice cup (with lid and straw)
* 3 clothes pegs
* assorted plastic
* assorted styrofoam
* 2 broken balloons
* string
* 1 fishing float
* 1 cigaret end

broom

the travel plans of plastic & a surprise..

The Happy Beach household has had many discussions about how waste travels in the sea. It seems specific debris items arrive in clusters – a wave of medical bottles turn up for a while, then there seems to be nothing but endless bits of light plastic on the shore, followed by a period of heavier things such as shoes. This cut up water bottle was found in very separate parts of the beach indicating that the journeys were slightly different.

and its mate

Maybe there are patterns connected with the weight of the item in question, currents, the season and wave velocity. Some brilliant people have been looking into the travel plans of plastic through the sea. The Moby Duck project is a study of 28.800 bathtub ducks that were lost at sea and subsequently followed by environmentalists to see the movement of plastics. The Adrift project is a great initiative, where you can track how plastic travels in your area.

propeller

The collection of the week includes:
* 1 big plastic bottle, cut in two
* 1 packet of cigarettes (opened)
* 1 panty liner
* 1 biro lid
* As always: Lots of assorted pieces of plastic
* Paper
* Broken tub
* Plastic bags
* 10 straws
* 1 knife handle
* Small pieces of rope
* 4 plastic bottles
* 1 cap screen
* 4 shoes
* 2 soles
* 1 heel
* 3 hypodermic needles
* 1 plastic wing
* 4 plastic coffee cups
* 232 bottle tops
* A toothbrush
* 1 piece of painted, blue wood
* The top half of plastic canister
* A ghost net trapped in the rocks

And a piece of good news: A contribution was made to the Happy Beach collection point on my birthday. A visitor found a sturdy length of rope and delivered it. Thank you!

gift

White trash…

Spring is bringing new faces to happy beach. People have ventured outside to care for gardens, prune orchards, repair homes and the houses to let. And there are leisurely visitors too. Joggers, divers, kayak enthusiasts, fishermen and tourists are among those enjoying her shores. This influx of life seems to make the washed up debris an even more sorry sight. Today most of the collection is white – and there is plenty of it.

White trash

Collection:
* 2 shoes
* 2 bottles of head & shoulders (1 Turkish, 1 Russian)
* 1 Bingo lighter
* 25 bottle tops
* 1 toothbrush
* 3 lids
* 2 toilet freshener holders
* 3 1/2 plastic bottles
* 5 straws
* 2 syringes
* 2 handels
* 1 roll of tape
* 1 knife handel
* 1 bendy pipe
* 1 water spray top
* Assorted plastic bits
* Loads of Styrofoam
* 1 Kazoo – pink!

kazoo