Beachgoers left behind 13,000 pounds of trash on Cocoa Beach after it reopened

People all over the country have been itching to go outside, especially in areas where the weather has finally turned warm. Once restrictions eased in Brevard County, Florida, residents and visitors flocked to the beaches.

But their day at the beach wasn’t all fun in the sun.

After the rush of people went home for the day, they left behind 13,000 pounds of trash.

“The numbers we are seeing right now rival Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekend,” Bryan Bobbitt, Keep Brevard Beautiful executive director, told CNN.

Keep Brevard Beautiful, is a non-profit, that empties roughly 100 trash cans three times a day along Cocoa Beach. And while they focus on emptying the cans, they will pick up litter that people leave on the sand as well.

“When we see something that can be a choking hazard to marine life, we make it a point to get that stuff as well,” Bobbitt said. “If we don’t pick it up, it gets blown into the water. We’ve all seen the photo of the straw stuck in a sea turtle’s nose or a 6-pack ring around a bird’s neck.”

But when the beaches reopened the first weekend of May, volunteers collected a potentially record-breaking number of bags.

Bobbitt said the team of volunteers collected 297 bags of trash, each weighing about 40 pounds, the first weekend. They were close to 305 bags by the second weekend.

Typically, at this time of the year they only collect 30 to 40 bags per day.

The city of Cocoa Beach issued a statement reiterating the city’s stance on littering.

“Our community works very hard to be stewards of environmental sustainability. If I need to reallocate critical resources during our peak season to combat litterers, we are no longer asking our visitors to comply with our litter laws, we expect it, and there will be consequences for offenders,” said Chief Scott Rosenfeld.

Anyone caught violating the city’s litter law is subject to a $250 fine.

How inconsiderate can we be? Share this on Facebook if you wish people were more careful and cleaned up after themselves.

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