QCOSTARICA – An article by Miguel Angel Menendez Ortiz on escondio-dd.com, brings home the point that while local tourists litter up the beaches, it is foreign visitors who clean up after them.

While Menendez writes about the town of Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico, where inhabitants of the beach town are outraged at the amount of trash that some unconscious tourists, the vast majority locals have left during their stay during the Easter holiday season, the same IS true in Costa Rica.

12718384_1260501204044043_5541992503290878061_n
Brasilito, Guanacaste

Images of trash left behind by locals litter the social media. Some beach communities have taken to posting signs that local tourists turn a blind eye to.

Some argue that the lack of garbage bins by the municipality is the reason, but, what about thrash thrown from a bus window? What is the reason there?

It is a common occurrence during holiday periods, as Local tourists, flocking to the beaches, leave behind tons of trash.

Meanwhile, foreign tourists give an example of how Ticos should act, some, evidenced by photos posted on the social media, from the early hours of the morning begin the clean up, collecting garbage left behind by the locals.

It is very easy to say Costa Rica has world-class beaches, but, they have to be cared for. Actions is what counts.

This is a nationwide problem, local tourists litter everywhere they go. Littering has become so common, the problem apparently rooted in culture. Littering appears to be a deeply ingrained habit among many Costa Rican people.

Perhaps the locals assume that the oceans are so vast and deep that the trash would simply be swallowed up and never seen again. How very wrong.

Add to that the lack of anti-littering campaigns by most coastal municipalities and their lack of a beach clean up program.

Related: Trash and Littering Still Major Problems in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

The problem is not new. In 2009 Garland Baker posted the article, Trash and littering have become major problems, on how waste has become one of the biggest and most serious problems of Costa Rican culture. “The problem is not only a contradiction to the self-proclaimed ecological, diverse and clean reputation of the country, but also accurately illustrates the Tico short sightedness that prevents Costa Rica from becoming a developed nation,” write Baker.

The travel pages for Costa Rica never show you the trash and litter, they give the big high-five of  “Costa Rica beaches are very clean”. One blog poster last August wrote on Weebly.com, “I hardly saw ANY trash wherever I went.. There was barely any air pollution.”

Some beach communities have taken to posting advice on blogs and social media, like “Dear San Jose visitors, Do NOT trash our beach!”, on Weeklycrawler.com for Semana Santa 2016.

Use the comments below to post your experience – both positive and negative – on the trash and littering problem in Costa Rica.


Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.