26 Seconds at Guayaquil’s Malecon Gardens Fish Pond


The amount of plastic I continue to see –strewn about, blowing about and haphazardly piled about– as I make my way north through South America is staggering. Whether at home or on the road, it’s one thing I simply can’t become immune or jaded to. Who throws bottle caps, candy wrappers, spoons and sporks into ponds in public gardens? Or flings plastic bags and bottles out their windows?

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Does anyone know these people? If so, can you please ask them to stop?

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  1. ooh, that’s not pretty at all; two ecuadorians from the sierra and i were discussing this a few days ago. i noted that many places have people who clean the streets 7 days a week, so people of all ages have this ‘attitude’ that they pay people to pick up their trash. it’s very frustrating to witness this. i once saw a worker on a bus hurl a soda bottle out the door, and i all but came unglued!

    what is sad is to walk the high-water line and see the plastics. a marine biologist told me that what’s really bad is what we don’t see that’s happening out at sea. i should ask her for more feedback on this growing problem.


    1. Google ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ and you’ll find a floating garbage dump, made entirely of plastic, that’s twice the size of Texas. They’re impossible to fully clean up.

      For what it’s worth – from what I’ve seen thius far over the past week, Ecuador isn’t nearly as bad as its southern neighbors. Garbage in the streets, roadsides, waterways etc was disgusting in parts of Peru and Bolivia. And at least 80% of the litter/trash was plastic in one form or another. The only solution is to stop using it. Many check out clerks in stores give me funny looks when I tell them that I don’t need the plastic bag they’re so eager to stuff my stuff into.

      1. hey! i’m glad ecuador rates higher than its down the coast cousins. years ago in CR when i saw the plastic bottles start replacing the returnable ones, i thought, ‘uh-oh, we’re in trouble now.’

        that’s great that you decline the plastics! i often have a bag for that as well, or i get cardboard box and carry things home in that!


  2. Unfortunately, we now live in a world where the common assumption is ‘I can use disposable plastic as much as I want and discard it wherever I want because someone will pick it up and hopefully it will get recycled’. Our reliance on plastic scares me. I’ve taken a pledge this year to reduce my dependence on it, and I’m trying to encourage others to do the same. Thanks for the inspirational post 🙂

    1. My pleasure, I’m glad those sad fish were able to inspire. 🙂 And good for you – once you set the plan (ie using less) in motion, the easier it gets. The awful thing about plastic isn’t only that it’s disposable, but most of it is single use, and extremely short use. And it never fully degrades.

  3. They’ll stop – don’t worry. I remember when it used to be like that in Italy, even here, only a few years ago – things like that change, thank goodness. Problem is all that stuff that’s swirling about in nation-sized pontoons on the ocean ….

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