Beach holidays are something that many people
look forward to. City dwellers look forward to a
break from the hectic pace of life in the city.
People at work also long for a short break from
work. They all feel a seaside environment
soothes a fatigued body and an overworked mind.
However, problems do crop up when too many
people patronise public and private beaches
during holidays. One problem is rubbish. When we
look at some of our beaches today, we find
plastic bags, polystyrene containers and empty
soft drink cans strewn all over the place. What
an eyesore for both tourists and visitors! More
serious is the fact that it endangers the lives
of sea creatures such as turtles that mistake
plastic bags for jellyfish and ingest them.
Beach-goers should be aware of these problems
and treat littering as a serious offence..
Possible solutions to curb littering are the
enforcement of stricter anti-litter laws by the
government, fostering civic-mindedness among
people, and limiting and closely monitoring
beach recreational activities to preserve the
cleanliness of beaches.
The government should
enforce stricter laws to ensure beach-goers pay
for littering. Even though there are signages
warning people not to litter, I can safely say
these are ineffective. I have seen on occasions
when beach-goers carelessly throw their fishball
or nugget sticks while strolling on the beach.
These litterbugs think that such rubbish is
negligible due to their insignificant size.
However, rubbish is still rubbish no matter how
small or insignificant! Beach authorities should
slap these litterbugs with a hefty fine to deter
similar acts in the future and also patrol
beaches regularly to catch culprits in
and impose the fine immediately. Hopefully, when
beach-goers realize that their actions are being
watched by the authorities, they might think
twice about littering.
The public should always be civic-minded
about their surroundings.
One of the easiest ways
to foster civic-mindedness is to catch them
young. Families can play a big role in
instilling in children this awareness of keeping
beaches clean. When I was little, my family used
to have picnic lunches at the beach during
school holidays. Being a family of seven, we
definitely created a lot of rubbish. However, my
mother's motto was always `Leave nothing behind,
but footprints!' And so after we had eaten, she
made sure we put every scrap of paper or waste
into plastic bags that she had brought along.
She even made us pick up other people's litter.
Later, we would dump the whole lot into the bins
provided. If everyone could be a role model like
my mother, I am sure we would not have dirty
beaches today. Some people might think that
not clean up as it is someone else's job to do
so. They fail to realize that nobody wants to go
to a stinking, polluted beach-including the sea
creatures living along the beachshore that
Last but not least, I think beach
recreational activities such as banana-boat
rides, horseback-riding and jet-skiing provided
by hotels or private business operators should
be limited and closely monitored. Many
beach-goers love such activities as
beach vacations more exciting. However, when
people and animals are let loose on a supposedly
beautiful beach, it will eventually deteriorate
with rubbish. I remember a beach I once visited
in 2002 and thought it the most beautiful with
its white sand and its
clear water. It was also not crowded, too. When
I visited the same beach in 2010, 1 was dismayed
to see how much it had deteriorated. The sand
was brownish, the water was murky with debris,
and it was crowded with people and activities.
Beach recreational activities need not be banned
altogether but hotel authorities must limit the
number of business operators who rent their
services to beach-goers or they should allocate
specific areas for such activities. By doing so,
large areas of the beach can be conserved.
Spending a leisurely day at the beach is
probably the most enjoyable experience one can
ever have. However, this experience will be
marred if people take the cleanliness of beaches
for granted. Littering by beach-goers must never
be condoned. The sooner the necessary laws are
enforced and the earlier people realize how
pivotal it is to stop irresponsible behavior,
the better the chances of protecting our
beaches. A beautiful environment is for all to
enjoy. May our beaches remain as beautiful as
they should be!