Category Archives: yoghurt pots

Cocktail in the sea

This spring is proving particularly fickle. Gorgeous, calm days with turquoise waters are quickly replaced by thunder and hail storms, with tempestuous waves to boot. The heavy rains form streams that transports reddish soil downhill from nearby fields directly into the sea – creating a strange looking cocktail as the meet. These fields are used for crops and I regularly see the famers spraying them with pesticides – needless to say these toxins are also being carried into my beloved bay.

And of course there’s plenty of plastic still added to the mix. Recently I stubbled across a disturbing video on the consequences of this problem created by Olio. It claims that 1 in 4 fish contains micro-plastics. This is nothing short of a disaster. But looking over the history of Happy Beach findings – it’s sadly not surprising.

On this gloomy note the collection includes:
* 5 plastic bags
* 3 cigarette ends
* 1 shoe (blue Micky Mouse)
* 1 vodka bottle – complete
* 1 Ouzo bottle 12 – top only

12

* Assorted plastic bits
* 1 rusty spray can
* 1 plastic plate
* 1 yogurt tub
* 2 syringes
* 1 medical bottle
* 3 fishing floats
* 1 pen – blue
* 1 straw
* bottle tops
* 5 plastic water bottles
* 2 lighters
* 1 knife handle – blue & white
* 5 water bottles

Blue Days

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

Shifting Sands

Summer is refusing to loosen her hot and very dry grip of Happybeach this year. October is seeing high temperatures and still not a single drop of rain. Pleasant yet disturbing at the same time. Gardens are thirsty and every little gust of wind kicks up clouds of dust. Still it’s great to be back after my travels and exploring the beach with Molly!

molly-and-i
Molly and her human

Island life carries on as usual. The trees are filling with avocado, olives, lemon, pomegranate, figs, pomelo and bananas – soon ready for picking. And October means the start of hunting season, so sounds of gunshots and howling dogs are to become a fixture of Wednesday and Sunday afternoons.

Happybeach has changed radically over the summer. In addition to the endless piles of rubbish (no big surprise there) the continuous heavy waves have totally restructured the beachside by shifting the sands and bringing out the rocky surface below.
These photos show the same stretch of beach with a year between.

And of course the collecting must go on. It’s discouraging to discover that local tourists are adding to the pollution problem much more than visitors from abroad. One would think that they care for their island and the image it projects when the beaches are covered in trash. But the litter left on the seaside after barbecues and picnics is appalling. Everything from towels to plastic food containers to countless cans and bottles get discarded without a second thought.

ummer-2016
Welcome to Cyprus

Collection of the day includes:

  • 23 plastic bottles
  • 21 bottles tops
  • 11 straws
  • 7 plastic cups
  • 2 big yogurt tubs (used for holding bait)
  • 1 fishing float
  • 1 beer bottle (glass)
  • 3 lighters
  • 1 pair of goggles
  • 1 sea horse mould (plastic)
  • 1 ping-pong bat (wood)
  • 1 empty bottle of sunscreen (factor 6)
  • 1 flip-flop
  • 1 football
  • 1/2 syringe
  • plastic bags
  • 1 cigaret end
  • 4 cans (broken)
  • 1 diver’s suit
  • bits of plastic
  • rope in various colours
  • garden pipe
  • 1 small towel

Total removed from beach: 4kg

the-things-you-find
Naked diver wanted

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!

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

WANTED AND LESS WANTED VISITORS…

It’s been an eventful weekend. With plenty of new-comers to Happy Beach. Saturday we drove to the Paphiakos Animal Shelter in Paphos. It was an intense and heartbreaking experience. The shelter houses more than 1000 cats, dogs, donkeys, goats and other abandoned or abused animals. It’s run by the founder’s wife, the tenacious Katrien, who struggles with lack of funds but is supported by an awe-inspiring team of employees and volunteers. It’s impossible to leave this place unaffected. A little Terrier pup decided it wanted to come home with us – and we will gladly foster and look for a good home for her.
Please meet beach cleaning dog no. 2 – Eddie:

molly and eddie

Our Sunday visitor was of the two-legged kind (I presume). The two dogs got me early out of bed and we went to inspect the beach. Somebody had already frequented the Happy Beach collection point – maybe one of the local fishermen hoping to find something he had lost. The 3 orange seats had been thrown aside and a green stone and 1kg yoghurt pot had been claimed! I use the pot to store more dangerous items like hypodermic needles and knives, and they had just been dumped in the toy trough. I’m very pleased that someone found use for this item – if only the claiming had been more respectful.

visitors

Undeterred we tidied up the chairs and continued our exploration of the beach. The collection of the day included:
* 1 rucksack
* 3 plastic bottles
* 1 plastic tub
* Paper bag (from the baker)
* Styrofoam
* 7.4kg of assorted plastic, metal, aluminium.
* 1 piece of green fabric
* 1 tape ring (no tape)

rucksack  tape

So many Mermaid’s tears….

Today I needed encouragement and decided to think back a couple of weeks to when we returned home from our trip abroad to a less happy beach covered in an upsetting amount of debris. Though it goes against my normal ideals I think in this case a set of “before” and “after” picture might be interesting to view.

before after again

The reason for this feel-good flashback was the discovery of a very disturbing phenomenon further down the beach. Clusters of “nurdles” (also called Mermaids Tears) mix with organic matter to form little islands on the shore. The nurdles are highly dangerous micro bites of plastic. When they end up in the sea they often become mistaken for food by fish and birds – and finally we also consume them. After an hour in the sands I only managed to collect a small yogurt pot full of these cretins. There are 100.000s more. So whilst the big picture might look more pleasing a serious threat to our wildlife is still in plain view – small but deadly. Enough to bring tears to the eyes of mortals and mermaids alike.

cretins

Collection of the day:

* 1 small yogurt pot of nurdles 😦
* 1 bag of assorted plastic, styrofoam, aluminium
* 1 plastic canister (5l)
* 1 micro plastic arm
* 1 micro monkey head
* 2 bits of pipe
* 15 bottle tops