Playing in the sand

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — In an effort to help eliminate plastic waste, this coastal city moved one step closer to making their plan come to fruition.

During a committee meeting held Jan. 14, the City of South Padre Island Shoreline Task Force voted to move forward with its Borrow Bin pilot project.

The idea is to place a bin with toys at five beach accesses so beachgoers can borrow and return them.

Additionally, anyone with undamaged toys they no longer want can donate them to the bins.

Shoreline Task Force member Robert Nixon said he would love to see the pilot program work.

“I think it’s a great idea to have the borrow and bring back type of idea and I love it,” Nixon said during the meeting. “I think we should definitely try it out.”

Shoreline Task Force committee member Abbie Mahan introduced the idea of the pilot project during a meeting held Dec. 10.

The project is estimated to start after Spring Break and Semana Santa either in April or at least by the time summer starts.

“I don’t think there will be a huge rush to get them out there by Semana Santa. It’d be nice,” Mahan said during the meeting. “That’d be a tough week to get some really good feedback. I would be happy if I saw it by summer.”

Shoreline personnel said Gulf, Treasure Island, Bougainvillea, Aquarius and Goodhope would be ideal beach accesses to place the bins because these have permanent restrooms, the most parking and are more commonly used by families.

The Shoreline Department plans to make the borrow bins with recycled pallets.

The borrow bins will be accompanied by signs that explain the idea of the project and its rules in both English and Spanish.

Personnel calculated an estimated minimum cost of $185 for the creation of all five bins, including paint and signs.

“I think if we do a good job at getting the word out, we could probably keep them half full, get a variety of things and it will stop all of this buying of this plastic stuff from stores,” Shoreline Task Force member Stormy Wall said during the meeting. “So I think it serves a good purpose.”