Tag Archives | plastic discard beach recycling fieldwork

Material Lessons from a Plastic Beach

Kim De Wolff, PhD Candidate, Dept. of Communication, UC San Diego

 Kamilo [Kah-MEE-loh] Beach, Hawaii: meeting place of land and sea, lava and marine life, and floating plastic from all around the Pacific. Here sea turtles swim in surge channels decorated with snarls of nylon fishing gear and the shattered remains of consumer goods; the overwhelming plastic content making ‘sand’ worthy of scare quotes. Though covered in discarded human products, this is not litter in the conventional sense. Kamilo is a remote beach near South Point on the Big Island, accessible only by miles of four-wheel drive road as ragged and devoid of people as the shore. Plastic is brought here by the intricacies of wind and water currents, not dropped or dumped by humans directly.…

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