Reducing packaging waste in the world’s oceans starts with putting trash in the proper receptacle. I live on the most beautiful beaches Florida has to offer, and I watch as people leave their trash, their toys, and a million other things on the beach. My beaches aren’t the only beaches being abused by lazy and selfish people.

First, there need to be more options for the lazy people of the world. One garbage can every 300 yards is not nearly enough to capture all the trash people bring to the beach. We need industrial size bins that are attractive and can hold the tons of trash people bring to the beach; including the broken toys they leave behind. Every public entry point should have a garbage bin that can hold some hefty trash.

Next, we need to add some beach cleanliness police. When a family or even one person gets up from their beach spot and leaves behind their broken beach chair, crack sandcastle mold and their cans of empty drink, the cleanliness police will pop up and offer them two choices, clean up or pay up. Not only will this encourage cleaning but if they choose to be lazy and selfish, they can be fined a nice hefty fee for the cleanliness police to clean things up. If this isn’t their first offense, they can be subjected to required service hours, cleaning and monitoring the beach themselves that very day, or worse, they can just go to jail for 24 hours, a way to ruin vacation over some trash.

Finally, while reducing waste is important, we need to clean up the mess that we have already made. To achieve this, make it a requirement for all people, aged 20 to 40, to spend 1000 hours of that 20-year time span cleaning waste from the beaches and oceans. I took this concept from the military: men must sign up for selective service at 18-year-old and give 8 years to the military. In that same vibe, it only makes sense that we take the same precaution to protect our world’s land as we do to protect our country.

Kale Sinclair
Arizona State University - Tempe