Say "no" to low-cost, single-use bodyboards

August 17, 2020 | Bodyboarding
Single-use bodyboards: these low-cost bodyboards contain toxic components that are harmful to humans and marine life | Photo: Keep Britain Tidy

Cheap single-use bodyboards are evolving into a silent environmental disaster, as they're continuously and increasingly being dumped along the coastlines during summertime.

Every summer, hundreds of thousands of low-cost bodyboards are discarded in the world's beaches.

They can be bought for around $10 and often end up smashed to pieces, floating out to sea or spread all over the sand strip.

These low-quality bodyboards made from a two-inch sheet of polystyrene wrapped in a thin layer of nylon are produced in Asian countries.

They often display funny characters, colorful designs, and Disney-like figures to attract children, and they're sold almost anywhere from small, local seaside shops to big retailers and supermarkets.

They're fragile and easily break in two after being ridden for less than an hour in the shore break.

Some of the materials used to produce these boards have not been tested in the laboratory and contain toxic substances and paint.

They're a threat, not only to children and adults but also for the ocean and marine life.

Asian-made bodyboards: thousands of cheap, single-use bodyboards are being dumped every year along the coastlines | Photo: Keep Britain Tidy

A Threat to Human Health and Marine Life

There are have been several reports of thousands of disposable boogie boards collected in the UK, United States, Australia, and European beaches.

The pictures reveal huge stacks of abandoned boards retrieved by people who care about the safety of our children, beaches, and oceans.

In Croyde Beach, near Devon, England, a local non-governmental organization called Plastic Free North Devon (PFND) collected 500 polystyrene boards in 2019.

However, it is believed that around 14,500 single-use bodyboards are dumped every year in the region during summertime.

Several petitions have been filed to stop retailers from selling these boards and urge governments to ban them from the market.

In 2019, Keep Britain Tidy's BeachCare program recovered 480 low-cost bodyboards dumped in sand dunes, littered on beaches, or left abandoned beside garbage bins.

A snapped plastic boogie board unleashes thousands of micro polystyrene balls, which are very difficult to recycle.

The registered environmental charity was able to recycle parts of the boards create protective insulating housing for beehives, as well as cushion covers, purses, and other handy items.

Disposable bodyboards: sold for $10 and littered on beaches | Photo: Keep Tidy Britain

A Bodyboard for Life

If you and your family are beach enthusiasts, why don't you invest in a quality bodyboard that will last for several summers?

There are many options available at your local surf shop ranging from $50 to $200. You can even choose a bodyboard that can be enjoyed by riders of all ages.

In the long-term, you'll be saving money and creating long-lasting memories with a board that allows you to explore several surf breaks and beaches.

If you're into DIY, why don't you shape a simple, yet highly efficient and fun paipo board that will last forever?

A sustainable wooden bellyboard will always glide better across the water than these mass-produced and highly pollutant Asian lethal weapons.

Parents, tourists, beach lovers, and travelers: be conscious and do the right thing. Stay away from these imported disasters.

Do not buy these single-use boogie boards - choose a durable wave riding vehicle and help protect future generations.

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