Santa Barbara. Loved you then... you still

...always have

...always will

Stunning that when you first step from the bike path into the sand, you're swallowed up by the beauty of the place.

But if you're me, you cut that whole romantic moment short, and cast your gaze downward. Down where this stuff lurks tangled in the seaweed washed up on shore, and scattered around to be practically camouflaged, half buried in the sand.

I trawled this collection in one hour in a fairly straight - like tipsy straight - path along the bands of seaweed.

I came across a few kindred spirits along the way. A sweet Japanese man who upon observing what I was up to, gathered some pieces of styrofoam and bottle caps and brought them to me - no common language necessary thank you very much.

And this fine person you see here?

She had her own two bags of trash from the very same beach, and informed me that she had gathered just as much the day before.

I found more "fresh" plastic that had been accidentally left behind on the beach - (sand toys, cigarette butts, styrofoam, straws...) than I did pieces that had been washed back onto shore (mostly pieces wrapped up within the seaweed, more bottle caps, cap liners, broken pieces of plastic...).  What I didn't find was one stretch of seaweed that was plastic free.

Outside of strictly limiting the use and production of traditional plastics - like STRICTLY, this is a conundrum with no end. Even the best intentioned among us will accidentally let loose some manner of plastic here and there - How can we NOT, when everything is either made of, or packaged with plastic?  It's almost literally everywhere.

Until I get it banned from the world forever, I think the best we can do is fastidiously contain the pieces that pass through our day to day lives - like it's a hazardous material - because it is.