How to keep our beaches clean: PACK IT IN & PACK IT OUT

It’s that time of year again where throngs of tourists and locals alike swarm to the beach. It’s also that time of year to remind everyone of the importance of cleaning up your area before you depart. 

No one likes litter. And beach litter is the worst! It’s not just unsightly. It can kill wildlife and pollute the ocean.

There seems to be continuous growth in the amount of solid waste thrown away. The very slow rate of degradation of most items are leading to a gradual increase in marine litter found at sea, on the seafloor, and on coastal shores. It is an economic, environmental, human health, and aesthetic problem posing a complex challenge

As trash travels throughout the world’s rivers and oceans, it accumulates. This debris harms physical habitats, transports chemical pollutants, threatens aquatic life, and interferes with human uses of river, marine and coastal environments.

Pieces of plastic pose a threat to marine life. Given its size and prevalence, marine animals and sea birds mistake marine litter for food. Many species, including seals, dolphins and sea turtles, often get entangled in plastic debris, and in fishing nets and lines lost at sea. According to the European Union, there is more plastic than plankton.

As vacationers think of how to protect beaches, consider that the easiest way is to take responsibility for what you use – and where you discard what you don’t use.

To help maintain a clean and safe environment for beach visitors and wildlife, Carolina Beach has implemented a Pack It In/Pack It Out program. Just like hiking, when you bring anything to the beach that doesn’t live there naturally, be sure to take it out with you.

Carolina Beach has posted public notifications and beach signage to educate visitors on the new trash disposal locations made available by the town. This is designed to make it safer on the beach, and more convenient as you leave.

Near the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, you can continue to use the blue barrels that have been resident on the beaches for years. But town staff have placed new 96-gallon trash carts, donated by GFL, on the landward side of each beach access or walkway. All beach goers are asked to discard items there. The new carts as well as the remaining blue barrels will be serviced seven days a week.

The Pack It In/Pack It Out platform also hopes to expand. Future plans include working with NC Division of Environmental and Customer Service (NC DEACS) to attain grant funding for improved receptacles at the street side of the accessways. Once funding is allotted, receptacles will be paired so that trash and recycling are located side by side.

Meanwhile, we encourage you to keep our coastal areas clean and safe. A clean beach will make your Carolina Beach rental experience a lot more fun.

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