Food Wrappers have taken over the #1 spot of beach trash picked up in 2019. The Ocean Conservatory counted 4,771,602 Food Wrappers on one cleanup day.
August 2020, in South Mission Beach more than 4,000 Food Wrappers were picked up on the Oceanfront. If you include beverage bottles, caps, and miscellaneous other food items, Food Wrappers account for 68% of all beach trash in just one mile of Sout Mission Beach.
Top Food Wrappers Picked Off Mission Beach
Fast Food Wrappers
Plates: Paper, Foam, Plastic
Cups (Paper, Foam, Plastic)
Straws and Stirrers
Condiments (Ketchup, Mustard, Mayo, Pizza toppings
Wood popsicle sticks
Plastic Food containers such a yogurt
Plastic Storage Containers
Juice Boxes and clear film cellophane
Napkins and Wet ones
Plastic food packaging
Add in aluminum foil, charcoal, tongs, BBQ grills, it amounts to thousands of pieces of plastic going into our oceans every day.
Most food wrappers do not biodegrade. They either wash out to sea and sink to the bottom to be eaten by marine animals.
The myth that the Beach Screeners pick up food is not true. The beach screeners at Mission Beach pick up some wrappers, but they also shred them into pieces. In addition, they only go down 1-2 inches, so the food wrappers that are buried will stay buried until a big storm.
What you can do.
Pack It In and Pack It Out!
Pick up wrappers you see and put them in the trash.
Bring a bag just for your trash and dispose of it properly and do not overstuff cans or worse, leave your trash next to the can--the seagulls will tear it apart.