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Volunteer program on Tybee Island breathes new life into old toys

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*(source: WTOC)
Published: Dec. 20, 2020 at 10:14 PM EST
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) -A group of Tybee Island families found a fun and creative way to give new life to old beach toys that were left behind in the sand.

“We’re out here probably almost every day and every time we come out here we end up with toys and we come home with toys,” says Re-Beachables volunteer Kelly Jones.

Re-Beachables is made up of volunteers who take discarded beach toys, clean them up, and make them good as new.

“We re-bag them up and they get distributed out to vacation rentals, hopefully, to be used again by other kids so they will use those instead of go buy new toys all over again,” says Jones.

Tybee Clean Beach volunteers are constantly picking up trash off the beach. They try to find a way they can repurpose the materials they recover.

“We’re just trying to reuse perfectly good material instead of land filling or trying to recycle,” said volunteer Tim Arnold. “Nobody wants beach toys for recycling.”

Arnold says this year alone they picked up about 500 toys and he reminds people that plastic pollution can have a big effect on the environment.

“They do break down,” Arnold says. “The effect of the sun and the wind, or they get carried out to sea or they get buried and just continually degrade. So it becomes a very large problem.”

“I think it’s important for them to see the changes they, themselves, can make,” Jones said.

Jones and Arnold say getting the kids involved is a great way to show them the effects littering has on the environment they live in.

“They won’t be polluters in the future and they advocate for their parents and their friends to be better than that,” said Arnold.

Mermaid Cottages Vacation Rentals will be putting a bag full of shovels, sand molds, and buckets in every cottage this spring for future guests to enjoy.

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