Teen In California Collects 50,000 Decomposing Balls From The Sea

© Alex Weber / The Plastic Pick-Up 

Alex Weber is a teenager who has liked diving with her father since she was a child. Playing this sport, unfortunately, he was able to see firsthand that the ocean is full of golf balls. He has proposed to clean them and has already collected 50,000.

Alex Weber is a teenager who loves to dive off the Carmel Coast of California. From a very young age she accompanied her father.

In the summer of 2016, while diving near Pebble Beach Golf Course, he discovered that the seabed was full of golf balls, in varying degrees of decomposition.

From there, he began his quest to get the golf balls out of the sea and thus investigate the problem further.

On his first day of the trip he collected 2000 balls, since then he has already collected more than 50,000.

© Alex Weber / The Plastic Pick-Up 

In his parents’ garage he has accumulated 2.5 tons of balls. In addition to cleaning, she investigates and collects data on this problem.

It is documented with Matthew Savoca.

Matthew Savoca is a Stanford University scientist who studies marine plastic debris. Weber asked him about the strong smell the balls gave off and if it could be dimethyl sulfide (DMS) .

DMS is a plastic chemical that acts as a food activator for animals. Savoca was interested, also encouraging the young woman to write an article about her discovery.

He joined her in the crusade to collect golf balls, they collected so many that the kayaks had to be towed to shore. At those times they collected between 500 and 5000 balls per day.

Conclusions.

Weber’s article was published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin, entitled “Quantifying Marine Debris Associated with Coastal Golf Courses.”

The team observed that the balls have a polyurethane coating that degrades over time. They also contain toxic zinc compounds. Also the waves and currents act like a mill that breaks the balls.

The real danger of these balls is not contamination, the danger is that marine animals can eat them. In this way the damage begins to be more important.

Today there are many golf courses close to seas and oceans. The numbers are alarming if a player in Pebble Beach loses 1 to 3 balls per round, he can lose up to 186 balls in the sea in a year.

If we multiply this number by each player and golf course near the ocean, we will discover that the problem is real and very serious.

The authors hope their work will raise awareness of the problem and help create cleaning protocols. As well as strict regulations that require the recovery of golf balls.

Fortunately, Weber has commented that some golf courses have started cleaning up the beaches. Perhaps it is time for golf balls made of natural and biodegradable materials to become fashionable.

More information: www.theplasticpick-up.org

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