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We love Costa Rican beaches and above all the image that our country exhibits towards the world, so the aim of this article is to convince you to raise awareness.

The Surf Federation of Costa Rica published in its Facebook account a message as simple as essential: “Tico that is respected does not leave garbage on the beach”.

For some it may be the most ‘normal’ thing in the world to open a canned beer and leave the can opener on the sand, as people were somehow lazy to throw it in the garbage, throw it to the recycle bin or take it back home.

Just in case you don’t know, about 1,000 turtles die each year from waste like this, according to a survey by Exeter University.

Here’s why you shouldn’t throw even one single beer bottle cap on the beach:

1. Turtles:

It turns out that our beloved turtles often confuse plastic bags with jellyfish. This causes them to swallow them and end up suffocating. nmas1.org website explains that a single plastic bag takes 150 years to degrade.

What does tico usually do? Yes, carrying drinks or food in plastic bags, but what if the method changes? You have two options: buy a reusable bag or collect all the waste in the same bags you took.

Turtles will thank you.

2. Your health and your loved ones

The typical story: ‘You saw that I went to the beach but came back sick’. In case you don’t know, the specialized website harmonia.la explains that plastics contain various types of toxins and pesticides. They adhere to small particles inside the sea.

In other words, if a beach is very dirty, you run the risk of getting sick. That’s why there are organizations like Ecological Blue Flag, which works together with the communities to keep our beaches clean.

Here I show you those destinations that have Ecological Blue Flag: Get to know the cleanest and safest beaches in Costa Rica.


The fish

Do you like snorkeling? Then don’t throw garbage to the beach. Fish get stuck in plastic bags or nets, which often results in their death.

Plastic affects both smaller and larger fish. The website igualdadanimal.org tells us that a whale was found dead on a beach after swallowing a plastic box. It damaged her digestive system and killed her.

Just in case you have any doubts, the TEC shows the seriousness of the matter with a super-explicit report: Costa Rica throws into the sea 15 trucks of plastic a day. Is it serious?

I quote the article: The plastic is distributed as follows: 80% (440 tons) are thrown into the sea; 11% (60.5 tons) remains in landfills and the environment; while only 9% (49.5 tons) is recycled.

4. Our image as a country

Yes, it’s normal to see pictures of beaches “from other countries” full of rubbish. That´s shocking, right? Costa Rica lives from its image; in which it is preached to the point of satiety that 5% of the world’s biodiversity accumulates in our small territory.

The images of dirty beaches that become viral in social networks are like a punch to Costa Rica’s reputation. Our economy needs a strong tourism sector, the income of travelers who visit us precisely for the natural beauties, for surfing, for turtles, for whale watching.

If you look at it, everything is related to our beaches. Let’s not spoil it.

We invite you to read:

Five hidden treasures in Puntarenas

Have you ever felt the sea pulling you away from the shore? Learn to identify when there are currents on the beach

The real beauty of Roca Bruja beach

The three-hour trail that takes me to an unspoiled beach