Littering is bad. We’ll say that right away because there’s really never an excuse for pitching your garbage around all willy-nilly. It’s rude, it makes public spaces look unattractive, and it can even be dangerous to animals and other humans. Unfortunately, some places seem to attract more dumping of garbage than others.
One of those places is near Russia’s east coast, by the city of Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan. The beach has natural volcanic black sand, though today, you’d have to dig to see it.
That’s because the beach is entirely covered in sea glass.
The coast used to be a dumping site for glass and porcelain back in the days of the Soviet Union. Truckloads of old bottles, dishes, and other glass and ceramic items were simply dumped on the sand and left.
That sounds pretty irresponsible these days, but nature has a funny way of cleaning up our messes in unexpected ways. After years of being ground down by sand, water and wind, they’ve become smooth and foggy, like little frozen jewels of seawater.
And they come in all kinds of colors, too. People from Russia and beyond come to comb through the dull-edged glass and porcelain pieces, and it’s become so popular that it’s actually now a protected place, watched over by the government. Glass Bay, as it’s known, is also a popular place for swimming and other traditional beach activities.
As for the ecological issues, glass is far less damaging than plastic, which contains petroleum and can harm wildlife and ecosystems. The glass at Glass Bay will eventually get ground back down into what it started out as: sand.