During our last holiday in Sankt Peter-Ording, our children stood in amazement in front of a drag mark on the beach. It looked like someone had dragged a chest of drawers through the sand. They followed the trail and came across a handful of young people dragging a blue plastic box behind them: they were surfers. They had found the box in the flushing seam and kept throwing in more trash to clean up their beloved beach. There was enough lying around. The kids joined in, and soon the box was overflowing, most of it made of plastic: scraps of bags, plastic cans and lids, a pair of sunglasses, a rotten shoe — and lots of blue, green, and orange plastic fibers that looked like tattered clotheslines.

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