trash and sea glass in puerto rico
It’s no secret that Puerto Rico has some of the most beautiful beaches you’ll find anywhere. That’s why it’s especially disheartening when you see some of them littered with piles of trash and broken glass. There seems to be less of a stigma with littering here than in the states. This blows the mind of new arrivals like us who are appalled to see magnificent natural landscapes, unimaginable where we come from, absentmindedly treated like a dump.
Before I get too carried away railing against the prevalence of littering here, I want to try to be objective. Thinking back I can certainly recall encountering similar attitudes and actions back in San Antonio as well. My brother, who worked at a movie theatre at the time, said the aisles were filled with debris after every showing. I can also remember being repulsed at the sight of piles of trash all throughout the massive Six Flags Fiesta Texas parking lot when we were one of the last families to leave one night. However, since these are private places of business which have a direct incentive to promptly clean up after their messy customers, perhaps a better example would be New Braunfels, where tubers have been known to trash the crystal clear spring-fed rivers every summer. Being public, the beaches here, like the hill country rivers in Texas, are both prone to become the unfortunate victims of the tragedy of the commons.
Sea glass – trash to treasure
If there is a bright side to this, it’s that there is an abundance of naturally tumbled sea glass to be discovered at the area’s beaches. Holly and the boys enjoy combing the local shores for these colorful little gems. I was surprised at how many pieces the boys were able to find in just a few days at summer camp in Rincón. They even came across some of the less common colors such as red and turquois. Now that their collection is growing, Holly has been on the lookout for craft ideas to do with the boys.
One really cool historical piece Waylon discovered was of the bottom of a cork-top Clorox glass bottle circa 1929!
As much as I love that we can easily find sea glass at the beaches around here, I look forward to the day that they become scarce commodities as environmental awareness on the island increases.