Now that the peak spring travel season has passed, local authorities are starting the review how their action plans performed when it came to delivering key infrastructure services to the many visitors in the area.
One of the biggest impacts for La Paz was the amount of trash collected from area beaches.
La Paz Beaches Littered With Trash
According to local officials, an amazing 67 tons of waste was collected from the eight top tourist-visited beaches in La Paz during the entire peak spring travel season.
The eight local beaches with the most tourist impact included El Sargento, Sonorense, Saltito, Comitán, Amacas, Las Viudas, Chileno and El Tecolote.
Some of it was properly disposed of in trash cans. Some, unfortunately, had to be picked up when the beaches were cleaned after the tourists left.
Everything imaginable from bottle caps, dirty diapers, food residue, wood, cigarette butts and other disposed items were collected from the eight beaches in La Paz.
Unfortunately, very little of the recyclable items such as aluminum cans, bottles, cardboard and plastic waste actually made it into the recycling containers at the most visited tourist beaches in La Paz.
Much of it ended up in non-recyclable trash containers or was simply discarded on the beach.
Local workers tried to sort and recover as many of the recyclables as they could. However, much of it was lost because of improper disposal.
Why is This Important?
Beyond the general idea of keeping the environment clean, there are three key reasons why proper trash disposal is so important in La Paz.
First, many of the beaches in the area, especially in Los Cabos, are internationally certified and recognized as blue flag beaches.
The international blue flag certification is important for tourism in the area because it ensures guests that they will find beaches that are not only clean for swimming but also safe from hazards.
Second, much of the trash can end up in the seas, where it can cause harm to local sea animals.
There have been painful images to see of what happens to the local La Paz sea life when the trash from visitors ends up in the sea.
Animals with plastic waste that is choking them and caught in their bodies are some of the sad results of discarded trash on the beach.
Third, the trash discarded on the beach can cause hazards for other beach visitors.
Nails left over from burnt wood used for bonfires can cause deep puncture wounds when stepped on. Metal and glass hidden in the beach sand can cut feet when stepped on.
How is La Paz Addressing The Issue?
La Paz officials are in the process of surveying the trash disposal rates and determining strategies to better handle the issue of waste collection at the beaches and its ultimate disposal.
A number of alternative strategies to address the issue are currently being reviewed, including the potential of using non-recyclable waste to produce energy.
Officials are especially concerned about single-use plastic items, such as water bottles, discarded at the beach.
Since 2018, La Paz has had a law on the books banning the use of all single-use plastic items. However, officials acknowledge that it is seldom enforced.
In the meantime, locals and visitors have an important role to play in making sure the beaches in La Paz remain clean and safe from all locals, visitors and creatures that enjoy a day at the ocean.
What Can Tourists Do?
It is important to follow the “pack in, pack out” standard when visiting beaches in La Paz. Tourists should remove all of the trash from the items they bring to the beach when they leave.
Promptly dispose of the trash properly in trash cans at the beach. Alternatively, visitors can discard of the trash at their hotel or resort location.
Also, visitors should take the time to be careful with the items that they do bring to the beach and make sure recyclables are disposed of in the correct location for recycling.
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