One of the dirtiest beaches in the world is actually in Hawaii | Gallery Drinkware (Formerly Water Gallery)

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One of the dirtiest beaches in the world is actually in Hawaii

Hawaii is known for its exquisite beaches, gorgeous foliage, beautiful ocean waters...and its trash. Sadly, one of the dirtiest beaches in the world is located in none other than the heavenly big island of Hawaii. Kamilo Point, in the rural district of Ka'u, despite its lava rocks and tide pools, looks like a cesspool. Thousands of pounds of man-made trash, much of which is plastic, is brought by the ocean's churning currents to this beach every year. Because of this fact, it's often referred to as Plastic Beach. Doesn't have quite the same ring as Glass Beach, does it?

Kamilo Point Beach, otherwise known as "Plastic Beach"

I've written about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch before and Plastic Beach is a direct recipient of this very trash. However, the garbage patch is not simply a swirling mass of trash (although there definitely ARE whole pieces of trash in the ocean), but rather it's primarily plastic that has broken down into microbeads, leaving a dangerous mass of microscopic plastic pieces that poison ocean life and pollute the earth. It's often likened to a "soup of pollution." And because Kamilo Point has consistent offshore winds, the plastic microbeads (and general trash) make their way directly to its shores. Experts say that if you grab a handful of sand at Kamilo Point, the majority of what will be in your hand is actually plastic microbeads, not sand at all.

Local organizations have led beach clean-ups at Kamilo Point for years, but time and again the trash just makes its way right back to the beach. The bottom line is beach clean-ups, while well-intended, are not going to make a dent in this trash problem. The only way we are ever going to begin to solve the ocean garbage problem is by steeply curbing or completely eliminating our use of plastic. We human beings have the health of our oceans, and our world as a whole, in our hands. Nobody NEEDS single-use plastic. So let's all work together to make the changes we want to see in the world...if for no other reason than, for Pete's sake, to keep (make?) Hawaii beautiful.

4 comments

May 25, 2017 • Posted by Bridget Neal

So sad what we are doing to destroy the planet when we truly have options that would have a difference.

May 25, 2017 • Posted by Desarae Espinoza

Makes me sick that people think they need plastic cups, plates, and utensils for everyday life because they are simply too lazy to wash dishes (yes i know people like that) and they are so arrogant to think it doesnt affect or kill life in nature :(

May 25, 2017 • Posted by Lu J.

Yes, while the trash at Kamilo Beach is a problem, the headlines to sensationalize this problem is worse – “one of the dirtiest beaches in the world.” Why make it sound like this is the only place in the world that has a dirty beach. First of all, it can’t be helped that this particular beach ’’catches’’ all of the debris that is blown in from the ocean. Secondly, while reducing single plastic usage is the ultimate goal, it will not happen overnight. Thirdly, keep in mind that all Hawaiian shores have fallen prey to the debris that comes across the ocean, especially from the Japan tsunami several years ago and the after effects.
Continuous clean up is necessary to keep the beaches and shorelines in Hawaii free from the trash that is put into the ocean. It’s man made, so man must be responsible for the clean up!

May 22, 2017 • Posted by Kasee Johnson

How did this horrific knowledge escape my notice?? I’m well aware of the Pacific Garbage Patch (island!), but I am completely flabbergasted by the news that Hawaii’s gorgeous beaches are affected so horrendously. I thought I knew most of Hawaii’s deep, dark secrets, being a huge fan and frequent visitor of the islands. This makes me sick to my stomach. And while you said that beach cleanups won’t make a dent in the problem, I feel that every little bit helps. We can’t change the plastic situation overnight, but people can clean the obvious pieces of waste off the beach.

#StartWith1Thing #RacingExtinction #DiscoveryChannel

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