HAPPENING NOW: Open Martin’s Beach!
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Plastics Are Forever or at Least 27 Years

February 03 2010 |
by Surfrider Foundation



Found this on the beach in NJ yesterday. Now don't laugh, but you have to pay to get on the beach here in the summer. Most towns give you a beach tag or a beach "badge". If you aren't familiar with a beach badge, it is a thin piece of plastic, I'm guessing vinyl, about 2 inches square. They are dated of course so you can't use them next year.

Take a look at this one; it is 27 years old! There is no telling if this was in the ocean for 27 years, or if it spent some of that time buried in the sand. Maybe it went a few hundred miles south during a Nor'easter and made its way back. Maybe it did that ten times. Maybe it circumnavigated the entire North Atlantic. Belmar is two towns away from me, less than a mile.

The point is that besides being a bit faded and a little bent at the edges, this little piece of plastic is entirely intact 27 years later. We all pick up our share of plastic on the beaches; rarely is it dated. Makes me wonder how old some of the other stuff we are picking up is.

John Weber
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