There are people in life who care. And those that don't.

Ask yourself, have you ever walked past a piece of rubbish on a beach or in the street, and "tutt tutted" and walked on?

There is a garden I walk past frequently in Whangarei - it is part of a business.

At various times plastic bottles, paper and women's shoes from this garden.


A while back there were a few plastic bottles in there - no one got around to picking them up, including the contractors paid to tidy the garden up.

And then one day the bottles were gone, picked up by who knows, after probably 100 people walked past the garden.

Those who care. Those who don't.

Jakson Stancich and his mates are in the first category.

Jakson got in touch with us to say that they spent New Year's Eve on East Beach, Houhora.

It's one of those Northland beaches that Gold Coast developers would love to get their hands on - long stretches of white sand, paradise in other words.

Good fishing out in the harbour too.

Jakson and his mates came across some other young people - they had dirt bikes and 4 x 4s - didn't seem to have caused much damage though.


But the next morning, after they had gone, Jakson and co found they had left behind the contents of a large beanbag.

"I wouldn't have minded picking up a few bottles but that was just disturbing," Jakson says.

Ever seen a split beanbag? Thousands of tiny polystyrene balls.

If a beanbag spills its guts on your carpet, you scoop up what you can and get the vacuum cleaner out.

Imagine what it would be like cleaning up a beanbag's contents on a beach.

Take a look at the photo accompanying this column - that big white patch is the contents of a giant beanbag or something similar.

And Jakson can tell you what it's like cleaning it up.

"I feel that it would be good to put this out there as the effect of this is really big.

''I have done a diploma in marine science and know the effects of plastic and other toxins entering the marine food chain.

''We managed to scrape up four black bags of polystyrene balls using spades, and whatever we could scrape with.

"We then rinsed out the sand with our kids' fishing nets in the nearby estuary. There were six kids and 13 adults, we did three hours and sadly we still couldn't get it all.

"Two weeks later we went back to that same spot, most of it is gone due to the recent weather but we could still find a substantial amount in the washed up sea grass."

Next time you see a bit of rubbish blowing about, think of Jakson and his family and friends - people who care.